People Profile – Dr. Karina Charipova

Karina Charipova, MD, (PGY-3, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery)

Karina Charipova, MD, (PGY-3, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery) never imagined that a job would be where she’d find such an incredible, supportive community.

Dr. Charipova began her medical education at Georgetown University School of Medicine and, through the MedStar Health-Georgetown University Partnership, was able to start forming the relationships with MedStar Health faculty and associates that she relies on today. Now, some of her biggest mentors, and even friends, are the people she first worked with during medical school.

Looking back, Dr. Charipova is thankful that she put effort into her relationships at work and knows that stepping out of her comfort zone was essential to forming these connections. “I am an introvert through and through, but getting to know the people I work with has been worth every initially awkward interaction. Residency can be challenging, and we spend so much time at work that finding unity in that experience makes every hard day just a little easier,” she reflects.

As a Graduate Medical Education Committee (GMEC) representative, Dr. Charipova serves as a liaison between residents and the system-wide GMEC and helps to ensure that MedStar Health GME administrators are in touch with the issues residents care most about.

Dr. Charipova also supports the MedStar Health-Georgetown University Partnership—now from a different vantage point than when she was a student—by helping with the organization of the plastic surgery rotation for third-year medical students, including orienting students and serving as their point of contact during the rotation. “Teaching and working with learners has amounted to some of the most valuable experiences within my own education, and I hope to make medical education a big part of my future career,” she says.

As someone who hopes to one day work in an academic setting, Dr. Charipova values the many ways in which plastic surgeons are able to collaborate across surgical and non-surgical disciplines to help patients, especially those who are affected by chronic medical problems. She also appreciates that plastic surgery is much more than meets the eye. “We care for patients young and old, healthy and not, in the hospital and in ambulatory settings. We are given the privilege to operate all over the body and to work toward making our patients look and feel whole again,” she explains.

Dr. Charipova hopes that the future of medicine will mean the United States becoming healthier overall. “I hope that new developments—like those in technology, innovation, and AI—can help even the playing field instead of just making the best medical care even better. We have a long way to go when it comes to making our country a healthier place, and I hope that we do not lose sight of that,” she says.

Dr. Charipova has called the “DMV” home for some time now. Though she was born in Russia and first immigrated to Toronto, she came to Northern Virginia with her parents in the early 2000s. A big NBA fan, Dr. Charipova says when she’s at home, more often than not, there’s a game on in the background while she catches up on work.