Posted on May 4, 2016 by Arts and Sciences
Pavan Kapadia, M.D. (B.A. 2008;, M.D., 2011) is in the second year of his three-year medical residency in Internal Medicine at the University of Kentucky. He completed the USA Honors Program and graduated with a bachelor's degree in Philosophy and then Medical School at USA.
“The University of Kentucky Medical Center is a major tertiary care center with a very large catchment area, so there really is no typical day for me,” Dr. Kapadia said. He rotates to different services every month, and each area functions slightly differently, so typical days on each service vary. Kapadia usually works from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., approximately six days a week. Most days consist of arriving to work and “pre-rounding” on patients followed by patient cases for morning conference, several hours of rounding and formulating the day’s plans on each patient.
Philosophy at USA
Kapadia says he “developed an interest in philosophy in high school, so when it came time to choose an undergraduate major it wasn’t a hard decision to choose philosophy, especially given the variety of courses offered at USA.” He adds, “In fact, it was the best academic decision I’ve ever made.” His favorite major courses were philosophies of India, world religions and Chinese philosophy, two of which were taught by Dr. Eric Loomis. Kapadia described Loomis as his favorite philosophy professor due to his effective teaching style. Kapadia expressed an interest in world religions and particularly Eastern religions and culture while studying philosophy.
Kapadia’s honor’s thesis was a culmination of research with Dr. Mary Townsley in the Department of Physiology in USA’s College of Medicine which focused on the TRPV4 channel located in the pulmonary micro vascular endothelium and its relationship to certain components present during acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), particularly heat and nitric oxide.
Medical School Challenges
“Before I entered medical school, someone once told me that medical school is like standing in front of a fire hydrant and trying to take as much water down as possible. It was at least that, if not more,” Kapadia said when describing the challenges he faced while in school. Medical school required him to absorb so much information within a relatively short period of time. This was particularly difficult because the information was not applied until his third or fourth year of school. He says, “It was the equivalent of a mental marathon and was quite trying at times.”
Advice for Undergraduates
Kapadia advises undergraduate students to maintain a strong balance in order to be successful. “Obviously, academic success involves a certain time commitment on it its own, but I’ve found that I excel when I am very active with multiple projects and endeavors that include academics as well as extracurricular activities, hobbies and personal time,” Kapadia said. He also stresses that not understanding content leaves no way to digest and retain information presented.
Life in Lexington
Lexington is approximately the size of Mobile in population but with a different feel to it. The large number of undergraduate students as well as young professionals plays a role in the population. Kapadia claims, “Lexington is very family friendly and Kentucky in general thrives on its equine racing heritage. There is a good music scene with Bourbon distilleries and wineries galore.” While he resides in Lexington, his family lives in Birmingham, where his brother is finishing up his last year of medical school at University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Into the Near Future
Kapadia is currently interested in completing a cardiology fellowship after finishing his residency. In five years’ time, he sees himself nearing the end of that fellowship and looking forward to the next step in his career. This may involve continuing on to a fellowship in interventional cardiology or starting his first job after completing training. He has not decided whether he will join the private sector or stay involved with academic medicine. He does, however, see himself eventually settling down in a moderately large city, such as Charlotte, Dallas, Washington D.C. or Portland.
He recalls his fondest memories at USA being those of the life-long friends he has made. “I don’t think I can pin point one or several moments that are more fond than others, but my best memories are with the time spent with people in the Honors Program, AED, Southerners, CISO and SGA,” Kapadia said. He is still in touch with many of the friends he made as an undergraduate student, including Samit Patrawala, Rama Kastury, Vishal Patel, Prino Jacob, Brannon Vines, Sobia Ozair, Adnan Khalique, Noosha Hussain and Shruti Agarwal.