Q & A with Venkat Gundareddy, MBBS, MPH, FACP, CHCQM-PA, SFHM, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, Baltimore
Dr. Gundareddy thrives in the variety of his job–clinical, academic, and administrative–and brings his insight to The Hospitalist’s editorial board.
Making change happen and seeing how the realities of health care are being redefined by us every day.
Q: Why did you choose a career in hospital medicine?
A: The initial draw to hospital medicine was more driven by the academic drive I had and the need to care for the more acutely ill patients. However, what made it a long-term career for me is the ability to impact care delivery, think at a system level, and help patients at their most vulnerable times.
Q: What’s been your biggest success?
A: My biggest success within hospital medicine has been finding a happy place where I can care for patients the way I would want to be cared for. Making change happen and seeing how the realities of health care are being redefined by us every day.
Q: What challenges have you overcome?
A: The personal challenges to overcome were more to do with finding inner peace, but at a system level, the bigger challenges that I had to overcome were more related to work cultures, resistance to change, opposition to rapid growth, and lack of long-term vision.
Q: What do you enjoy most about your work?
A: Clinical work, the best part is meeting new patients every time I start my clinical duties. Getting a peek into their lives and them gratefully allowing me to be a small part of their lives.
In the academic world, what excites me are new ideas and people who are willing to challenge and disrupt currently-held viewpoints.
On the administrative side, there is always a constant effort to define and redefine the value of what we do. That keeps me excited.
Q: Why did you join SHM?
A: SHM is like a second home, where I come for mentorship, guidance, solutions, and more importantly, camaraderie.
Q: Why did you become an editorial board member?
A: A need to put across a viewpoint and bring interesting discussions to the table.
Q: What’s the first page you turn to when you get your copy of The Hospitalist?
A: Usually the first page is to glance over the content. Then go to the news section and movers and shakers.
Q: What’s your best piece of advice for new hospitalists?
A: In my opinion, new hospitalists should consider themselves agents of change within the hospital.
Q: What’s something someone would be surprised to know about you?
A: That I wanted to be a chef before being convinced by my family to take up medicine.
Q: What do you wish the world knew about hospitalists?
A: I wish for the world to appreciate the complexities and challenges of caring for patients in the hospital. While it might not be a specialty on its own, given the rate at which things are changing in hospitals and health care, hospitalists should be viewed as experts in the domain of acute care.
Q: How do you stay motivated during stressful days?
A: Keeping things simple and knowing the fact that you cannot solve or fix every problem that your patient or your hospital has. Acknowledging that you will come back the next day to finish the unfinished job and do it better.
Dr. Gundareddy earned his medical degree from Deccan College of Medical Sciences, NTR University of Health Sciences, Hyderabad, India, and completed his residency at St. Barnabas Hospital, Bronx, N.Y.