Before joining the Mount Sinai team at HealthQuarters as Medical Director, Dr. Kottapalli spent 25 years in practice at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation in Silicon Valley, California. This, after graduating from Osmania Medical School in India and completing her residency at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. With over thirty years of experience in medicine, she’s passionate about providing patient-centric care and empowering patients to optimize their lifestyle goals.
What inspired you to go into your field and how did you get started?
I grew up in a family of scientists, surrounded by people who served their communities through innovation in medicine. I distinctly recall sitting at the dinner table and listening to my parents share stories of the tangible, human impacts of the latest developments in their field–their influences galvanized me to want to make a change and inspired my desire to pursue medicine. From an early age, I also had the intrinsic drive to care for everyone I met, and this instinct for helping others combined with my love for medicine helped me realize that patient care was the way I wanted to make my impact on the world.
I’ve been lucky to pursue this passion for most of my life. I began my medical career and education when I was a wide-eyed 17 year-old, eager to serve people and resolute in my conviction that medical care could transform lives. Decades of experience later, I still hold firmly onto this belief. What I do fills me with purpose. Medicine, after all, is much bigger than who I am: I’m committed to empowering patients to make healthy choices and improve their overall well-being, because healthy people make healthy communities, and healthy communities make a better world.
How has this year changed your approach to community health?
The collective fear and grief that the medical community experienced this year has highlighted a range of community health issues that will be on the forefront of practitioners' minds moving forward. One that particularly stands out to me is the importance of preventive primary care. As a primary care physician, I’ve always been passionate about preventive care, but this year in particular has demonstrated how critical it is to help patients make long-term lifestyle choices that can drastically impact their health and immunity.
I think many people have realized that health is not a single choice that you make once a year, but rather a life-long journey. I believe that empowering my patients to make incremental improvements in their exercise, sleep, and stress management can make a big difference when it comes to their immunity and overall health.
What can a guest expect from an appointment with you? What's it going to be like?
The physician William Osler once said: “the good physician treats the disease; the great physician treats the patient who has the disease.”
This principle guides my approach to patient care. Patients are at the center of everything I do as a practitioner. I strive to connect with each and every person who enters my office, and am intent on establishing strong, therapeutic bonds with my patients on an ongoing basis. I understand that providing comprehensive, patient-focused care takes time–time listening to my patients’ needs, time understanding their life stories, and time engaging them in the medical decision-making process. By forming these relationships, I work with my patients to provide them with personalized, preventive care that goes beyond any single ailment, incorporating the benefits of diet, exercise, and evidence-based alternative and complementary practices.
Can you talk more about how you see your practice as connected to holistic preventive care?
I work with patients to feel better in every facet of their life. As I mentioned above, I firmly believe in treating the whole person, rather than an isolated issue or illness. This comprehensive approach is crucial to finding long-lasting, effective therapies for a range of conditions and it’s invaluable in helping patients optimize their preventive health strategies and lifestyle goals.
What excites you most about practicing within HealthQuarters?
I’m excited to connect with other physicians and practitioners to explore all avenues of health and healing for my patients. This team-based approach will facilitate our patients’ access to every facet of holistic care.
Finally, can you tell us a bit about your life outside of medicine? What do you like to do with your time? Any passions or hobbies?
I was introduced to transcendental meditation at a very young age, and I've maintained an interest in mindfulness, meditation, and breathing techniques for most of my life. It gives me a lot of joy not only to practice these methods myself, but also to convey the therapeutic benefits of these traditional practices to my patients. I also enjoy spending my free time cooking wholesome meals with my family!
Before joining the Mount Sinai team at HealthQuarters as Medical Director, Dr. Kottapalli spent 25 years in practice at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation in Silicon Valley, California. This, after graduating from Osmania Medical School in India and completing her residency at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. With over thirty years of experience in medicine, she’s passionate about providing patient-centric care and empowering patients to optimize their lifestyle goals. You can make an appointment with Dr. Kottapalli at HealthQuarters here.