about the Founder and CEO.
Founder & CEO - VitalChecklist
Internist - MPCP
Clinical Instructor - GVSU
In my childhood, I used to stutter, had acne, and dealt with obesity. I was bullied; I was petrified and was always joked upon. I used to feel very bad but at the same time had a strong resolve to overcome all my weaknesses. I was tongue tied because of my speaking impediment but I still always wanted to become an orator. After years of practice and with divine intervention, I overcame my stuttering. During the days of stuttering when I had palpitations, sweaty palms I used various tools to talk to hide this impediment. I made funny acronyms, developed checklists and used art to speak so people were de-focused off my unclear speech. After overcoming my shyness and stuttering, I just loved communicating...
I wanted to talk and talk all the time I could. After becoming a doctor, I loved to talk and chit chat with my patients, and the best opportunity I got was to become a clinical trainer where used the opportunity to converse with fellow students.
I never knew that God would connect those dots when I used to stutter and make funny acronyms/checklist and help me in perfecting my skills as Vital Checklist. It is rightfully said, "Whatever happens, happens for a reason" and in my case stuttering helped me to think ‘out of the box’.
I believe in America. If I can do it, you can do it too! It has been an extraordinary journey for me. We all owe a moral responsibility to help America, help mankind. Let’s do it. We are Americans and bless this great country, The United States of America for giving me this chance to serve.
As I was preparing for my Clinical Skills Exam in 2003, I had a hard time arranging for Standardized Patients (SP’s). I joined a lot of forums and visited various websites to seek help and arrange for SP’s, however; I was not able to do so. I came to the United States in 2003 and worked in an outpatient medical office where I learned history, physicals and counseling the patients. I completed my internal medicine residency and worked as a hospitalist in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Presently, I am working as an Internist at MPCP. During the process, I learned the most important thing - Patient Satisfaction leads to Patient Loyalty. I have always strived to attain the goal of patient satisfaction first. If you satisfy SP’s during your exam, you would be accomplishing your goal. I always used to wonder, “Why one more exam?” (Step 2-CS) Now, being a physician, this makes a lot of sense. In a hospital, patients and patient families rate physicians on these principles:
Basically, all these principles when translated constitute Step 2-CS Exam on which medical students and international medical graduates are tested. Vital Checklist (formerly 99 Percentile) has seasoned SP’s with precise medical knowledge for the Exam.
My interest in teaching started when I used to stutter in my childhood. As I was not able to talk because of my stuttering, the only way I could speak or have a command was to talk and teach my little cousins and fellow mates. I used to make acronyms for teaching my siblings. This helped me to mask my stammering. I realized that this was one segment where I could excel. My interest in teaching grew as I met Dr. A.K. Handa who was instrumental in restoring my lost confidence. It was one fine day when I went to congregation and was asked to speak impromptu and those 12 and half minutes changed me forever. I was 19 years of age and I never stuttered ever again. However, my passion for teaching grew after I met Dr. Vivek Pandey-my friend, my senior, one of my role models at KMC, Manipal. His dedication and helpful nature always inspired me to be the best in my field. These 2 doctors were the heroes in my school and college. My older brother, Paul (CMO- Vital Checklist) has been my childhood hero at home and at work. I have been blessed to have guidance from such a great teacher. He has spent hours in mentoring me. Perhaps he is the foundation behind my success. His unique medical experience, which is the best of the both worlds- Developing nation and developed nation, gave an extra edge to me. He not only helped me in my career but also took care of me since our dad passed away.
“A mediocre teacher tells. A good teacher explains. A superior teacher demonstrates. A great teacher inspires” ― William Arthur Ward
Dr.Jeff Wilt, Borgess- Pulmonology, Dr.Mimi Emig - Spectrum Health Infectious Disease and Dr.Timothy Fritz - Spectrum Health Cardiology have taught me the skills of empathy, accountability and patient education respectively. These physicians and teachers have sparked my interest in patient education and patient experience. They have left a mark on my mind and inspired me to do something different. My passion to teach students succeeded when I started my own Step 2 Clinical Skills course for medical students and foreign medical graduates. During the course of teaching students, I have learnt so much, and it has honed my skills way further. I have not just trained students but also trained standardized patients (SPs) as well.
Teaching and preparing standardized patients (a lay person who portrays the real life scenarios) has helped me to develop skills, checklists and various ways to teach my real life patients. I have received enormous testimonials and what began as teaching venture for the medical students has also developed into teaching venture for the patients.
As rightfully mentioned by Richard Rusczyk of 'Art of problem solving', "Teaching forces you to communicate your thoughts clearly and precisely". As our society becomes ever more interlocked and interdependent, cooperation becomes more and more important. This cooperation requires communication; however, being heard is not enough. You must also be understood. Your ideas will never be more effective than your ability to make others comprehend them. Teaching helps you develop the extremely important skill of describing your ideas well enough for others to use them.
Teaching is not just good for those you help; it’s good for you, too. The best test of whether or not you really understand a concept is trying to teach it to someone else. Teaching removes this possibility of self-deceit.” Let’s teach students, standardized patients and real-life patients.