Every day, our doctors go above and beyond to help our communities heal. On March 30, we celebrate Doctors’ Day, expressing our appreciation to those who care for us and guide us to maintain a healthy lifestyle all year.
Anuj Marya, MD, FAAFP, family medicine and geriatric medicine physician with St. Dominic Hospital, has been with our ministry for more than five years and shared his thoughts on being a doctor.
What inspired you to pursue a career in medicine/healthcare? Why did you choose your specialty?
I was inspired by my grandfather, who was a dentist in India, to pursue a career in healthcare as I watched him practice during my early childhood devoting many hours to serving those most in need. I chose geriatric medicine as my specialty as I encountered intellectually challenging problems and considering the needs of the whole patient including improving safety, nutrition, function, mobility and quality of life in the aging population.
Have there been any challenges you’ve faced and overcome in your career journey? Who has influenced you most in your career?
During the early portion of my career as I took interest in patients with advancing dementia, I would often encounter patients toward the end of their life, which can be emotionally draining. What I have found most rewarding in my journey is to help navigate their healthcare experience and make it as comfortable for them and their loved ones while honoring the patient’s wishes. I am blessed to have some wonderful mentors throughout my career, but the most influential people to my career have been my patients who have decades of experiences and stories to share with me.
What do you like most about being a doctor?
What I like most about being a doctor is forming those patient-doctor relationships so that I may assist patients and families with well-informed decision-making tools to help navigate their patient experience.
If you weren’t a doctor, what would you do?
If I weren’t a doctor, I would have most likely pursued a career in dentistry.
How do you ensure your patients feel heard during their visit?
“We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak” —Epictetus. I ensure my patients feel heard by spending time by their side actively listening and understanding their core values involving their goals of care.
Why did you choose St. Dominic Medical Associates for your practice?
I chose St Dominic Medical Associates because it displayed a passion to care for patients most in need and trying to adapt care plans for the individual based on their beliefs and values. Empowering doctors to provide the highest quality of care to their patients.
What is something that people may be surprised to know about you? Is there anything else you would want to share in a profile about you and your career?
I was born in India and raised in Dubai, U.A.E.. I recently achieved Degree of Fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians. AAFP Degree of Fellow recognizes family physicians who have distinguished themselves through service to family medicine and ongoing professional development.