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Bronx, New York
Anesthesiologist and pain physician
Montefiore Medical CenterVIEW PROFILE
Sarang Koushik, M.D. (TY ’14, ANES ’17), was inspired to a career in medicine by his physician father. “I saw the amount of happiness medicine brought him,” says Dr. Koushik, who was a child when his father trained in the U.K. and then at Mayo Clinic in Arizona. When it was Dr. Koushik’s turn to pursue medicine, he also chose Mayo Clinic for residency although in a different specialty. After completing a fellowship in New York City, he’s pursuing opportunities in Bronx, New York, practicing anesthesiology and pain medicine.
“Get out of your every-day grind and get some volunteer experience in an underserved area or global health environment. When you impact communities that are the most in need, you’re reminded why you went into medicine.”
My father, Komandoor Srivathsan, M.D. (CV ’04, CVEP ’05), is an electrophysiologist at Mayo Clinic in Arizona. We’re from Chennai, India, and moved to the U.K. when I was 2 and to Arizona when I was 6. As I grew up, my dad was doing his medical training at Mayo Clinic. Regardless of the hours or sacrifice, I saw the joy he got from taking care of patients. He was always happy with his career choice. There are few jobs where you can feel like you had a positive impact on someone’s health or quality of life every day. I wanted to experience that, too.
As a high school student, I volunteered at Mayo Clinic in Arizona during the summer of junior year. It felt like a special place to work, and everyone was very dedicated to putting patients first. One of my roles was in perioperative services, getting patients ready for surgery. I noticed that simple things like giving a patient a warm blanket helped to ease their anxiety during this very stressful time.
My experience in the perioperative area exposed me to anesthesiology. I liked that anesthesiologists get to interact with a wide variety of patients — labor and delivery, pediatrics, orthopedics. Anesthesiology is very procedural and technical, and you get to see results of your work pretty quickly.
In addition to being an anesthesiologist and pain medicine physician at Montefiore Medical Center, I’m an assistant professor at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, a tertiary academic medical center. I provide anesthesia services in the OR and ambulatory surgery center and work in the pain clinic. I teach anesthesiology residents and pain management fellows on a daily basis.
I was a medical journalism intern at ABC News in New York during my pain fellowship. I’ve always enjoyed writing and saw this as an opportunity to get exposure to medical writing. I analyzed new medical research and prepared it for a general audience, including writing health care segments for “Good Morning America.”
I hope to use what I learned to promote effective social media use in health care and improve patient understanding of various medical conditions.
It’s nice to finally have a job and be done with 13 years of training. The first year as an attending, however, has a steeper learning curve than some of the years of residency. It takes time to adjust to having so much responsibility. It’s a little more stressful than I imagined it would be. It’s satisfying to take everything I’ve learned from so many people and apply it to help patients in my own way.
I’d like to work in medical education with anesthesiology residents and fellows — eventually in a program director role.
Try to figure out why physicians practice the way they do, and ask them about it. You’re exposed to so many people doing things in many different ways. You can learn a lot from those different styles. Every interaction is a chance to add to your clinical repertoire. Ask attendings why they practice a certain way, why this is the best approach and hat they think about doing things another way.
Additionally, get out of your every-day grind and get some volunteer experience in an underserved area or global health setting. When you impact communities that are the most in need, you’re reminded why you went into medicine. I had a global health experience in Nepal and saw things I’d only read about in textbooks. It can be a valuable supplement to your training.
I enjoy traveling with my wife. We went to Mexico City recently as well as India to visit family.We are planning to travel to Bali and Singapore next year.
I’d never had a pet in my life, and my wife and I got a toy cockapoo puppy this year. His name is Rockefeller — Rocky for short. I can finally relate to dog people.
I also do orange theory workouts two times per week. When I travel to India, I try to at least spend a few days volunteering for the nonprofit organization International Alliance for the Prevention of AIDS.
I’m a crazy NBA fan. I watch as many games a week as I can and always keep up with the Bill Simmons podcast. I’ve gone to a few New York Knicks games and hope to go to some Brooklyn Nets games this season .
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