“I try to build trust with the entire family.”
Since her father worked in public health for the United Nations, Dr. Usha Rallapalli moved around a lot when she was younger. This helped expose her to many different cultures. She believes the cultural diversity she experienced when young helps to make her a better doctor. “I think every place I’ve gone I’ve learned something that makes me a better physician,” she explains. “During my career I have taken care of Hispanic, Brazilian, Thai, Indian, and Pakistani patients. Everybody sees healthcare and medical problems in a different way, so you have to make sure your patients can relate to what you are saying – otherwise it can fall to a deaf ear.”
Wherever she has worked, Dr. Rallapalli has enjoyed getting to know her patients. “I try to build trust with the entire family. Knowing the family dynamic is very helpful in communication and also to some extent in problem solving. You become sort of a silent family member. And having that inside knowledge is very, very, useful. For instance, someone may not disclose their family history to me but since I know the mother and the grandfather I can sense the problems they are most likely to have. Being a family physician allows you to do that.”
In her practice Dr. Rallapalli has a special interest in treating diabetic patients as well as thyroid care and women’s health. She also enjoys caring for children. “I love my work, I really love being a doctor. The moment I enter the workplace there could be all sorts of things going on. Once I enter the exam room I forget all that. I love being part of a team of people that is caring for someone. It always feels good to know that even in a small way you are helping somebody.”
When she is not busy with her patients, Dr. Rallapalli enjoys spending time with her husband and her daughter, who keeps her very busy. She also enjoys reading and gardening as well as decorating.
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