Nirav Shah, MD, MPH
- Created a tobacco cessation clinic at a hospital in Kutch, India.
- His must-reads are The Economist, The New York Times, and The NEJM.
- Click here to view pdf
"I have spent the past couple of years working with Dr. Babafemi Taiwo on HIV research in Nigeria and Mali, researching HIV resistance and upscaling of HAART while attaining best outcomes with regards to delivery of care."
Why did you pick Infectious Diseases as a career?
My interest in infectious disease lies in the tremendous burden of disease that exists globally, especially amongst the poorest members of society. No other specialty within internal medicine requires understanding of such a varied spectrum of disciplines including public health, economics, politics, human rights, environmental studies and anthropology.
I find the pathophysiology of infectious diseases to be very interesting and the whole idea of an arms race between microbes and the human host to be fascinating. In addition, the field is very dynamic and at any time a new epidemic or pandemic can cause a paradigm shift.
Congratulations on your recent marriage! How do you achieve work-life balance as a resident?
I was fortunate enough to meet my wife and get married during residency. While the past couple months have been incredibly busy, they have also been the best months of my life. We got married in Udaipur, India on January 4th and had a Chicago reception in March. The wedding was a classic Indian wedding that spanned multiple days, involved me riding a white horse to the wedding grounds and ended late at night with Pooja and I getting married with very close family in attendance.
Life as a resident has been different since getting married. Interestingly, I started the fellowship interview process right after getting married. As complicated as this decision is while you are single, having a partner has added another degree of complexity, as some of my coresidents can attest too as well. My interest in international health has also been recalibrated. Pooja is not in medicine so achieving a work-life-family balance has been fairly easy as my work stays at work. On a lighter note, I have become a lot more efficient at work in order to make it home for dinner.
What are your career plans after your June graduation from the residency program?
I will be a hospitalist at Northwestern for a year and will follow that with Infectious Disease fellowship. NU has helped me prepare for the career challenges ahead by guiding me to my current career choice and providing me with the tools to be successful. It has provided me with the clinical expertise, the public health tools, the work ethic and a network of friends.
What will I miss the most about NU? My coresidents. They have made the past 3 years incredibly enjoyable and have helped me become a better physician through their intelligence, compassion and work ethic.