Castle Connolly Medical Ltd., which says its mission is to help consumers find the best healthcare, named numerous Indian-American physicians in its lists on ‘Top Doctors’ in New York in different specialties (See Sidebar of complete list). The shorter, more exclusive list, was published in The New York Times Sunday Edition July 15 as a three-page supplement, in which six Indian-American physicians were identified among the 41 “Top Doctors’ in the region.
The youngest among the six is Dr. Purvi Parikh, president of the storied New York Allergy and Asthma Society, the oldest regional allergy society in the U.S. formed in 1937. Dr. Parikh, a specialist in allergy and immunology, is currently affiliated with NYU Langone Health. The other 5 featured in The Times include Dr. Roma Tickoo, a “Clinician educator” on the faculty at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, who has been on various lists of Castle Connolly, including in the category ‘Exceptional Women in Medicine 2017; Cardiologist Dr. Samin K. Sharma who is dean of International Clinical Affiliations, and a professor of medicine and cardiology at Mount Sinai; Dr. Mayank Shukla, president at Harmony Center New York, who is board certified in Sleep Medicine, Peddiatric Critical Care Medicine, Pediatrics, and Pediatric Pulmonology; Dr. Vivek Maheshwari who specializes in gastrointestinal cancers; and Dr. Sheeraz Qureshi, an associate attending orthopedic surgeon at Hospital for Special Surgery and associate professor of orthopedic surgery at Weill Cornell Medical College.
“Doctors do not pay to appear on our lists,” notes Castle Connolly. Its lists are compiled “Through peer nomination, research, review and screening.” the company emphasizes.
Desi Talk attempted to find out what drives these physicians so that they reach the top of their professions.
Dr. Purvi Parikh is the daughter of Desi Talk publisher Padma Shri Dr. Sudhir Parikh. She says she is ‘humbled’ by the Castle Connolly recognition because it comes from her peers. She has worked with non-profit organizations and in the policy field and believes health is a ‘a person’s fundamental human right,” and chose this field because she could impact the largest number of people, she told Desi Talk. She also considers it a ‘privilege’ to connect with people at a time when they are most vulnerable and place their trust in the physician. Also, as a physician, she said, “Every doctor would agree that you are a lifelong student. Not only are there new advances on a daily basis but no patient presents themselves the same way,” said Dr. Parikh who has published articles on allergy, asthma and immunodeficiency syndromes in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, The Journal of Gastrointestinal Cancer and authored a chapter for an otorhinolaryngology textbook. She has also presented research at various national and international meetings.
She is on the health and public policy committee for the American College of Physicians and sits on the advocacy council for the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, is also national spokesperson for the Allergy and Asthma Network, which is the leading non-profit with a mission to end needless suffering from allergies and asthma. Dr. Parikh is a shot@life champion for the UN Foundation, which helps vaccine delivery on the ground. In 2016, Dr. Parikh went with a team as part of a Shot@Life trip to Zambia to study vaccine delivery in remote areas. Last August, she was listed in Emory University’s top “40 Under 40.”
“I am a strong proponent of empowering the patients and their caregivers by providing anticipatory disease related guidance backed by an actionable strategy no matter where they are located,” says Dr. Roma Tickoo on her LinkedIn bio, adding, ” I care deeply about patient’s own voice, autonomy, and preservation of dignity throughout their treatment trajectory,” she adds.
Dr. Tickoo’s professional expertise includes but is not limited to the management of severe intractable pain and non-pain symptoms related cancers and/or its treatment. She partners with her Oncology colleagues in rapid and aggressive symptom management; provides pre-emptive consultations to peers, and serves as a clinical management resource tank for patients, their care providers, oncology and multidisciplinary peers.
Dr. Samin Sharma is the director of Clinical and Interventional Cardiology, and president of the Mount Sinai Heart Network. He is well known for performing high risk complex coronary interventions with an extremely high success rate (>99%) while achieving an extremely low complication rate (<0.5% major complication), according to his LinkedIn profile.
He has received several state-level recognitions and has served on New York State’s Cardiac Advisory Board since 2004. He is also a philanthropist and Mount Sinai Cath Lab is now named the Dr Samin K Sharma Family Foundation Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory. Dr Sharma has built a 250 bedded (heart) hospital (EHCC) in his native place Jaipur, to provide the best affordable care to all patients irrespective of their financial and social status.
Dr. Mayank Shukla says this award is different from others because it is ‘peer reviewed.’
“I do not know how the process worked and we don’t know how the nomination happens,” he told Desi Talk.
Brought up in Bombay, Dr. Shukla came to the U.S. in 1996 to specialize in critical care. He ended up with four areas of expertise – pediatrics, pediatric critical care, pulmonary medicine, and sleep medicine. “I realized a lot of children were having uncontrolled asthma and needed treatment. I felt passionate about the field and formed my own practice so that I could reach out to more people,” he said. He sees more than 5,000 asthma patients a year in the New York City area, according to his website, and has received numerous recognitions, including being in the list of America’s Most Honored Professionals, and the Compassionate Doctor Award, voted Best Pulmonologist in New York.
“I find if you are trained in different diseases, you care for patients in a different way. My four fields are complimentary,” Dr. Shukla noted. “I am very data driven. I collect data on outcomes,” not only to treat with innovative ways, but also to show if patients are getting better.
Dr. Vivek Maheshwari also has unique expertise and research interest according to the RWJBarnabas Health, an integrated healthcare delivery system to which he belongs. His expertise is in heated peritoneal perfusion, gained through his experiences at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Center, Saint Barnabas says.
Prior to joining Saint Barnabas in 2006, Dr. Maheshwari was a surgical oncology faculty member at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York and assistant professor at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.
He received his medical and Master of Surgery degrees in India, from the University of Delhi, and completed his general surgery residency at Beth Israel Medical Center. He went on to complete his Society of Surgical Oncology Fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh. He is actively involved in a variety of clinical research projects and has special interests in cutaneous oncology, endocrine tumors, tumor debulking and intraperitoneal hyperthermic chemotherapy, according to RWJBarnabas Health.
Dr. Sheeraz Qureshi is a founding member and treasurer of the Minimally Invasive Spine Study Group (MISSG), and a recognized leader and one of the premier surgeons in the field of minimally invasive and motion sparing spine surgery. He has authored more than100 articles, book chapters, and text books, and helps design innovative surgical technology with the leading spinal implant companies in the world, according to his profile on Hospital for Special Surgery (hss.edu).
He served earlier as the chief of Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery and the associate director of the Spine Center at Mount Sinai Hospital. An acclaimed speaker and educator, Dr. Qureshi has one of the busiest clinical practices in the country, performing nearly 300 minimally invasive spine surgeries annually, and has spine surgeons visiting his operating room to learn the newest techniques from China, Korea, Japan, Australia, England, Thailand, Singapore, Australia, and India. Among his various awards are the New York Times Super Doctor, 2014-2018; New York Magazine Top Doctors, 2014-2018; Castle Connolly Top Doctors in New York Metro Area, 2014-2018, Castle Connolly Regional Top Doctor, 2013-2018; and New York Times Rising Star, 2013.