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Welcome to The Medicine Mentors interview series. Our mission is to create a platform for top physician mentors to share key insights, traits and best practices based on their experiences to guide medical students and residents.

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Dec 22, 2020

Chethan Bachireddy, MD, MSc is the Chief Medical Officer for Virginia's Medicaid Program. Dr. Bachireddy studied economics at Harvard, attended medical school at Yale, trained in internal medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital, and completed a master's in health policy research at the University of Pennsylvania. He is a physician, economist, and social entrepreneur dedicated to improving health for vulnerable populations. He's worked with the Clinton HIV/AIDS Initiative to deliver life-saving medications in resource-poor settings, founded the Health Advocacy Program, which is an afterschool program to empower students to become health advocates for themselves in their communities. He led a team of researchers and policymakers in a multi-study of integrated health services for individuals with HIV, substance abuse disorder, and mental illness in Ukraine.  He has collaborated with prison and jail officials to initiate and improve addiction treatment services, and partnered with behavioral sciences and technology companies to develop mobile-based smoking cessation and physical activity programs. He was most recently a National Clinician Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania.

From an early age, Dr. Chethan Bachireddy knew not only the importance of achieving excellence--but also what it means to be involved in, and contribute to, the community. And that if we want to change the world in a positive way, we need to stay accountable and stay motivated. Maintaining these two things requires a strong community to rely on and to help push us forward. Today, Dr. Bachireddy explains that working hard to cultivate community is what will help us grow, and help give us the courage to truly express our values. Community is what gives us a platform to lead change: And leading change is a responsibility we all have as physicians. But the goal is not just to have an impact, says Dr. Bachireddy, it is also to find fulfillment and meaning while doing the work.

Pearls of Wisdom:

1. Shift mindset from being a doctor to being a healer - one who allows their patients to develop their narrative and transform their pain into meaning.
2. Work hard to figure out the why and even harder to build a community that can keep your why alive.
3.  If an opportunity fits with your Why, don't say no for fear of failure.
4. Mentors give us the 'gift of perspective'. Before making critical decisions, we should reach out to not only one but many mentors to add perspective to our thought process.