Fellow Spotlight: Shravana “Deepthi” Gudivada, MD
Early during her medical training, Shravana “Deepthi” Gudivada, MD, became fascinated with sleep--both as a process and in the myriad ways sleep is important for health. Now as our new sleep medicine fellow, Gudivada spends her days treating patients with sleep disorders as well as reading and interpreting sleep studies. For her “Fellow Spotlight” interview, Gudivada talks to us about this work, her plans for the future, and why her internship still brings a smile to her face.
What are your current responsibilities as a sleep medicine fellow? What does your typical workday look like?
It's still pretty early on into my fellowship so I am learning things as I go. As a sleep medicine fellow, I can broadly divide my responsibilities into clinical work and reading sleep studies. I am primarily working in outpatient clinics seeing patients with a variety of sleep disorders, and at some point during the day I sit together with my attending and interpret sleep studies. A typical day for me starts reasonably (but not unholy!) early, where my attending and I go over sleep studies and then go on to clinics assigned for that day. Most days have conferences and other didactics plugged into the schedule which keeps us busy till around 5-6 pm when I usually wrap up.
What interests you the most about sleep medicine?
They say “A good laugh and a long sleep are two of the best cures for anything” and I truly believe in that. My interest in sleep medicine started before my residency while gaining clinical experience in the U.S. The delicate yet resilient biology behind the phenomenon of sleep fascinated me. Billions of dollars in U.S. healthcare are spent on managing chronic diseases yet we do so little preventing them. Doing my residency in Internal medicine further exposed me to the range of clinical manifestations that are brought on by poor sleep. There is growing awareness now of how truly important sleep is for one’s health. As a physician, I want to be able to help patients achieve a good night's rest and by doing so, prevent many chronic medical and debilitating health conditions.
You recently completed your residency in internal medicine at the SIU School of Medicine in Illinois. What are one or two experiences from your residency that stand out to you?
Over the 3 years of residency SIU truly became my home away from home. I was fortunate to have been able to experience genuine camaraderie with my colleagues and attendings at my residency program and its hard to delineate a couple of experiences that stand out.
I guess at the end you start thinking about the beginning. The first couple of weeks for any intern are always tumultuous and I was no exception, especially as an International medical graduate faced with a steep learning curve. On my first day of work on wards, attempting to manage a busy service, I was struck by the effort and support offered by not only my senior resident and attending but also the entire medical staff involved in the care of patients. A “good job “ and “well done” at the end of the day went a long way in boosting my morale. I was truly grateful for all the kindness and support offered, and I made it a point to repay it by passing it along to the next batch of interns. I was honored to have received the “Outstanding Resident of the Year award” during my last year and it was definitely one of my most memorable experiences.
Some of the more hilarious experiences were when I, lost in thought following my ICU team, dragged out the Computer on Wheels all the way down the corridor up until the stairs, (thankfully I didn't go any further), how a colleague and I spent an entire half day putting in our first inpatient notes only to realize the patient belonged to another service! All in all, I think of my residency with a smile on my face and that’s a good sign!
What plans do you have for after you complete your fellowship? If you could have any job in the world, what would it be?
I am still mapping out where I want to go after my fellowship. My ideal job would be where I could tie in both internal and sleep medicine. I love being a physician and doing what I do, so I guess if I could do any job in the world I would still at least partly be one. I would also love to be a book editor.
What other passions or hobbies do you have outside of the Department?
I pretty much spend my free time with my husband and we enjoy going on hikes together. I enjoy nature and most outdoor activities and we are looking forward to doing more in North Carolina. I also enjoy reading novels.
Gudivada enjoys the great outdoors before beginning her fellowship.