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Finding Passion in Healthcare

For Dr. Sonia Acharya Gupta, becoming a family medicine physician was a natural choice. With a knack to create a space of education and kinship, Sonia strives to go beyond the exam room to better each of her patients’ lives.

Born in Bathinda, India, Sonia was raised in a family of practitioners. The youngest of five children, she grew up watching her mother provide and care for neighbors. It was in the gratitude of helping others that cultivated Sonia’s passion. “For providers, we can take our knowledge and education for granted. To us, it’s a simple problem to fix. To the patient, who didn’t understand what was happening, it’s the world.”

After attending medical school in Ukraine, Sonia immigrated to the States with her husband. While preparing to take The Boards, they began their family with a precious girl. Four years later, they had their second daughter and Sonia was accepted into the residency program at St. Luke’s University Hospital. After graduating and finishing her requirements at a rural Iowa clinic, she found her home here at Charles Drew Health Center, Inc. “I was drawn to Charles Drew because our patient population is a majority of immigrants. I could understand and empathize with the experiences they were encountering.”

As a family physician, Sonia values seeing not only the patient, but seeing the family as a whole. Cultivating relationships with her patients beyond medicine to genuinely knowing their lives has strengthened her skills in treatment. “I enjoy getting to know my patients holistically. It’s easy to be dismissive about a patient if they are not complying, but when you really dig into it, you will find a reason as to why. Once you discover the problem, you set a course to help them overcome it.”

“At a medical home, having the integrative approach benefits not only the providers, but also the patients. Together we can encourage patients to stay on course with their other services. Additionally, the patients become self-aware and begin to take initiative in their health care. Knowing a person as a whole is key in having effective treatment.”