Manisha Yadav, MD, FACP, discusses the immense honor and responsibility of being a physician


Manisha Yadav, MD, FACP
Staff Physician, Santa Clara Valley Medical Center (SCVMC), San Jose, CA; Core Faculty—Internal Medicine Residency, SCVMC; Chair, Continued Medical Education, Department of Medicine, SCVMC; and Clinical Educator, Stanford School of Medicine, Stanford, CA (Affiliated).

Kasturba Medical College in Mangalore, India

Western Reserve Care System in Youngstown, Ohio

What is your current position?

Staff Physician, Santa Clara Valley Medical Center (SCVMC), San Jose, CA; Core Faculty—Internal Medicine Residency, SCVMC; Chair, Continued Medical Education, Department of Medicine, SCVMC; and Clinical Educator, Stanford School of Medicine, Stanford, CA (Affiliated).

Where did you attend medical school and postgraduate training?

I attended Kasturba Medical College in Mangalore, India, for my medical school; Western Reserve Care System in Youngstown, Ohio, for my internal medicine residency; and Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio, for my women's health fellowship.

Why did you choose to become a physician?

I have always wanted to be a physician for as long as I can remember. I think it stems from my childhood, when my mother got very sick. I was 7 years old and did not understand much of what was going on. All I could do was help with household work, give her medicine, and ensure she got everything she needed. I remember the feeling of satisfaction and peace while caring for her. It took her 3 months to recover and each passing day seeing her get better made me feel I was doing something meaningful. I worked very hard and stayed focused on my aspiration to become a physician and to make a positive change in people's lives. To be able to serve others gives meaning to my life. I have personally seen the trust that people put in their doctors and it's an immense honor and responsibility.

What field of internal medicine did you select and why?

I selected women's health for my fellowship as, in my experience, women put their health on a back burner just like my mother did. I wanted to be able to give them the care they deserve, but internal medicine training does not give you in-depth exposure to women's health. I was determined to close my knowledge gap to serve the population of women better and hence chose the field.

For my career, I decided to do primary care as I love the long-term relationships and trust built with the patient. It's so endearing to hear about their experiences, pets, and families, and it's such a huge honor that they trust you with their lives. I recently had a dementia patient not only recognize me but light up, even though they had not seen me for the last couple of years. It's a field that is hard work but is also very rewarding.

Please describe a typical day in your practice.

A typical day consists of direct patient care, paperwork, teachings, and meetings. There are 10 patients scheduled per half day. This includes a mix of new patients, follow-ups, hospital discharge follow-ups, and acute same-day visits. I am very involved in teaching and precepting our internal medicine residents in the outpatient clinics. I also have medical students work with me on a regular basis. I dedicate some time to arranging and coordinating for weekly grand rounds. In addition, there are some regular department meetings 1 to 2 times per week.

What are some of your special interests professionally?

I have a special interest in education. I have tried to educate myself constantly so that I can pass the information I have learned on to our residents and medical students. To improve on my teaching skills, I completed certification in medical education from Stanford University. To learn more about leadership skills, I recently completed certification in physician leadership by the American College of Physicians (ACP) and the American Association for Physician Leadership. In addition to working on research projects and publications, I have been helping judge posters for the Menopause Society (formally the North American Menopause Society) and ACP local chapters.

Due to my deep interest in hormones, I focused my fellowship training in menopause care. I also work in our gender care clinic twice per week serving the transgender population. Unfortunately, this is a very underserved population with very few doctors trained in the field and I really enjoy helping them through their journey.

What are your interests and hobbies outside of medicine?

As a family, we love to hike, travel, and explore new places and cultures. I serve as assistant scoutmaster for our local Boy Scouts of America troop. I try to volunteer at different organizations for community service as well as conservation service. This is also a great bonding activity with my children who also immensely enjoy giving back to the community.

What advice would you like to share with medical students or what do you wish someone would have told you while you were in medical school?

Medical school is very hard and I tell my medical students to ensure that they not only work hard but also carve out some time for themselves and their families. Medicine is a marathon, not a sprint. Medical students are going to be taking care of people who will entrust their lives to them, and they should never lose humility. They should also always consider things from the patient's perspective.

Which living person do you most admire?

I have been super blessed to have very strong, influential women in my life. My mother was not allowed to study after 10th grade and married at the age of 16. She devoted herself to taking care of the family, but never gave up on her dream of education. I was proud to see her complete her high school exams when I was in middle school. She then went on to not only complete her bachelor's but also a double master's. Even now, in her mid 60s, she is working toward getting another degree. My mother-in-law similarly fought her way to travel to a far-away city to be able to complete her education. Even though she lives thousands of miles away, her principles and constant support have helped me get to where I am today. They both inspire me constantly to improve myself and help others every day.

Which talent would you most like to have?

I would like to be multilingual so I could connect with people more effectively. The happiness it brings to people when you speak a few words in their language is immense.

What is your most treasured possession?

The gift of work–life balance is undeniably my most treasured possession, allowing me to work in the field of medicine and spend time with family and friends.

What is your motto?

My motto is to never give up. I believe that we can achieve anything, and can learn anything, if we truly put in the time and effort.

Back to the December 2023 issue of ACP IMpact

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