Meet Dr. Patel

Dr. Puja Patel

Dr. Puja Patel,
Class of 2023

Home: Michigan
Medical School: Nova Southeastern

Why Georgetown IM?

My “gut feeling” about Georgetown definitely came from the culture. Every person I interacted with on my interview day was so incredibly welcoming and kind. Right away I could see myself spending the next three years with everyone. I wanted to come to Georgetown because of the many opportunities they offered in both medicine and public health. As a part of the residency program, you can become involved in public policy and global health.
If you could go back in time to 4th year of medical school, what would you tell yourself when searching for a residency program?

Find a residency program that feels like home to you. It’s important that you feel you connect well with the residents and faculty. Residency is very enjoyable when you love the people you work with!

What are your career goals and how has Georgetown helped you achieve them?

As of now, my career goals involve pursuing fellowship and practicing with a focus on public health. Georgetown has been very supportive about helping foster relationships that help accomplish career goals. From the start, you are paired with a faculty mentor who meets with you and helps guide you during residency. Additionally, all of the chiefs are very kind and always have their door open; they work with you in terms of scheduling, choosing electives in specialities you want to pursue, personal advice, etc. Everyone is very keen to help and give guidance.

In what ways have you seen Georgetown IM foster a team atmosphere?

Starting the first block of intern year can be scary and intimidating because you are a new physician at a new hospital with new people. Little did I know, that even on day one of intern year, I was already part of a team. Both my senior resident and attending went above and beyond to help us through the nuances of the day including learning the EMR, paging system, etc. During rounds at Georgetown, you will work as a team with your attending, nurses, case managers, social workers, pharmacists, and more. The team atmosphere created at Georgetown makes both work enjoyable and improves patient care.

What’s your favorite Dr. Whelton moment?

During my first block of IM clinic at Georgetown, I saw a patient as a hospital follow up who had not previously seen a rheumatologist, but would now need one. He had a recent diagnosis of lupus nephritis and anti-phospholipid syndrome. During my patient encounter, he began to suddenly bleed extensively from his right axilla which was the site he had a lymph node biopsy done at an OSH. My attending contacted Dr. Whelton and without hesitation, he came up to the IM clinic and personally saw the patient himself. I remember him walking into the room while I had a ton of gauze holding pressure to try and stop the bleeding and him saying “Dr. Patel”, and me saying “Dr. Whelton, nice to see you as always.” Knowing that our PD would drop everything to come see someone who needs help honestly goes to show how you will always feel supported at Georgetown.

Tell us about any advice you’d give someone that wants to move to DC.

Be prepared to eat the best variety of food you’ve ever had in your life!

What neighborhood did you decide to live in and why?

I chose to live in Arlington, VA because I felt it was a good mix of urban and suburban life.

What are your hobbies outside of medicine?

Amateur photography, hiking, and Netflix (if that counts as a hobby lol)