I.M. a Resident: Sanjana Nagraj, MBBS

Sanjana Nagraj, MBBS

Sanjana Nagraj, MBBS
Cardiology Fellowship at Montefiore Medical Center,
Albert Einstein College of Medicine

What fellowship program are you currently in?

Cardiology Fellowship, Montefiore Medical Center, Albert Einstein College of Medicine

Why did you choose internal medicine and/or your chosen subspecialty?

I chose internal medicine for its breadth and depth and for what it means to my patients. A physician’s lifetime is not enough to cover the wide spectrum of pathology encompassing internal medicine and the complexity of clinical cases one may encounter. To me, this was exciting! Soaking in the knowledge and skills during residency and getting better each day was truly satisfying. Enabling patients to participate in their care, keeping them informed, even when things are uncertain, and providing them with both preventive and inpatient care made me realize what a privilege it is to be the patient’s medicine physician. My interest in cardiology developed while caring for the underserved patients of Bronx, New York, who often presented to the hospital with advanced stages of their cardiac diseases. As a resident, I enjoyed taking care of critically ill patients in the CCU as much as I found joy in managing heart failure in clinic and witnessing my patients’ quality of life improve.

What lesson(s) did you learn in residency that can help you for the rest of your career?

  1. Be kind to your colleagues—co-residents, co-fellows, nurses, and ancillary staff. Each person is trying to do the best they can for the patient. You can enable them to take better care of our patients—but with kindness.
  2. Everyone is running their own marathon in life—stay grounded and focus on what is most important to you! There are many career paths and several ways to get to the same endpoint. There is no single right way—plan your journey based on your priorities in life and stay true to yourself.

What are your plans for after fellowship? What factors or advice from mentors contributed to your decision?

I plan on entering subspecialty fellowship after completing general cardiology training and will be focusing on both clinical work and research. The dedication that my mentors have—toward patients, resident/fellow education, and advancement of the field through research—is a fundamental factor driving my decision. Also, having great mentors with different career paths and job responsibilities has shown me that there is room for flexibility, and tailoring one’s path based on individual priorities takes precedence.

How has being a member of ACP helped you in your professional life? What resources have been most helpful to you?

I am grateful for the wonderful professional network that I have gained through ACP. From judging state chapter ACP poster competitions to participating in the resident/fellow committee, ACP has been crucial for my professional growth as a physician, trainee, and researcher. I recently completed the ACP leadership certification course, which I found to be very useful, especially while teaching and mentoring medical students and residents.