I was born in Delhi, India and raised primarily in central New Jersey. I chose not to stray very far from my hometown of East Brunswick. I attended Rutgers University with a merit-based Bloustein Scholarship and obtained a double major in Biology and Psychology. I had always planned on going to medical school and knew that I was interested in psychiatry on some level, but considered pursuing a medical career in another specialty, in no small part due to family and cultural influences that did not highlight the importance of psychiatry. Although I briefly considered other options in medicine, my heart was set on psychiatry, and my personal experiences drove me to focus even more on the stigmatization of behavioral issues in society as a whole, as well as in my South Asian sub-culture.
I received my Medical Degree from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey - Robert Wood Johnson Medical School (UMDNJ-RWJMS) in 2004. I then chose to remain at UMDNJ-RWJMS for my general psychiatry residency. As I thought back to my interest in pediatric work during medical school, I found - what I feel to be - the perfect niche for me in the pursuit of child and adolescent psychiatry. I was excited to remain at UMDNJ-RWJMS for my Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship to complete my training.
My passion for revealing and addressing stigma against mental illness in the society as a whole, and within the South Asian community, has also led me to create an educational presentation on psychiatric symptoms and the influence of cultural beliefs on identification and treatment of the same. I hope to educate the community on this topic and to provide a platform for these issues to be addressed.
I feel my identity as a practicing Sikh physician affords me an opportunity to have an understanding of the influence of one's individual culture on his or her beliefs regarding symptoms, evaluation, and treatment.
Both English and Punjabi are my first languages. I am also fluent in Hindi and Spanish. I believe this diversity of languages also allows me to connect with patients of various backgrounds.
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