Not too long ago, Namratha Meda, MD, (PGY-3, Internal Medicine) embarked on a 13-day long trek across the Himalayas to the basecamp of Mt. Kangchenjunga, the third highest peak in the world. This incredible accomplishment – and the positive attitude it required – is indicative of the determination, dedication, and joy that Dr. Meda brings to MedStar Health.
Dr. Meda grew up in Bengaluru, India, where her physician father saw patients in a clinic attached to their home. “My physiology lessons started even before medical school, and I got to a point where I couldn’t imagine doing anything else,” Dr. Meda said. After watching the impact her father made on his patients, internal medicine was a natural choice for Dr. Meda.
“It gives you a change to identify and address health before a person is truly sick, in terms of encouraging a healthy lifestyle. That’s where health begins,” she explained.
Dr. Meda’s willingness to take on new opportunities has led to her service as a resident representative on the Graduate Medical Education Committee (GMEC). She calls this role “one of the most important things that [she’s] been a part of in residency.” As a GMEC representative, she works with others on the committee, including Dr. Qingwen (Wen) Kawaji, to troubleshoot problems and streamline processes to make life easier for residents and fellows.
“We’re trusted with the residents’ concerns to create a conducive environment for learning, education, patient care, and just resident and physician wellbeing,” she said.
“Our voices matter. They’re certainly heard,” Dr. Meda continued. She encourages resident and fellows to provide input, whether it’s through peer-to-peer listening sessions or the anonymous Google form. “What is not measured cannot be improved, and the only way we can measure it is for them to believe that what they’re telling us is truly heard and to give us more and more feedback.”
She’s had the opportunity to work on several initiatives with the GMEC, from helping increase healthier options in the cafeteria and improving food access, to providing input on a pay raise for residents. “That’s a very valuable way of showing us that we matter, and that the work that we do matters,” she said.
Throughout her career, Dr. Meda has also learned that a willingness to learn is key to success in medicine. “It’s ok to say, ‘I don’t know.’ That opens a huge door of opportunities and learning,” she said.
When Dr. Meda is not practicing medicine or embarking on global expeditions, she is calling back home to Bengaluru to FaceTime with her Husky, Maya, and her family, or practicing the Indian classical dance form Bharatanatyam, an intricate balance between footwork and rhythmic patterns and music.