Every month, we feature a physician as an opportunity for the community you to learn more about the great doctors on staff at Little Company of Mary Hospital. This month, we had the chance to talk with Dr. Sujal Desai, an Orthopedic Surgeon at Little Company of Mary Hospital (2850 W. 95th Street, Suite 406). Read on to get to know Dr. Desai, including his number one advise for healthy living, his background in molecular biology, and even his professional sport dreams.
Medical School: Midwestern University
Residency: St. James Hospital, Orthopedic Surgery
Fellowship: Los Angeles Orthopedic Institute, Sports Medicine
Specialty: Orthopedic Surgery
Subspecialty: Sports Medicine
Why did you decide to become a physician?
I developed an interest in the sciences at an early age and had become familiar with the hospital environment though volunteer work throughout high school and college. I had majored in cell and molecular biology in college but somehow knew that my calling was to make a difference by working directly with people rather than working in the laboratory. Both my experiences early on in a clinical environment and my desire to learn the intricacies of the human body and help people directly influenced me to go into medicine.
How did you choose your specialty?
Growing up I was involved in sports from an early age. I sustained many injuries ranging from sprains/strains to dislocated joints and was a patient of physicians in many specialties including family medicine, emergency medicine, and orthopedic surgery. All provided great care, but I developed a special interest in musculoskeletal anatomy during medical school. I decided to pursue orthopedic surgery as a specialty because it provided me the opportunity to focus on and treat disorders of the musculoskeletal system of the body both conservatively and through surgical intervention if necessary. I wanted to help people the same way as my orthopedic surgeon helped me return to my level of play.
What do you enjoy most about being a physician?
I enjoy being able to interact with different people from different backgrounds and being able to provide care as a surgeon to improve their quality of life.
What is your philosophy of care?
My background in osteopathic medicine has definitely taught me to take a holistic approach toward medicine. Even though my specialty is orthopedic surgery, I do believe that the physical body is interconnected with the mind and soul. Overall wellbeing stems from the mind, body, and soul all functioning properly.
I believe in listening to my patients and taking time with each one to go over their health. Taking time to educate patients is the best way for me to help them understand their condition, which helps in prevention or treatment of their condition. As a surgeon my philosophy or care is to provide non-operative treatment where possible and have surgery as an option for failed conservative treatment.
What is the number one advice/tip you give your patients for healthy living?
A healthy diet and proper aerobic, low impact exercise can help maintain an optimal body weight, which in turn helps maintain healthy bones and joints.
What is the best thing Little Company of Mary has to offer patients?
Throughout my months of training and eventual practice at Little Company of Mary, I have grown to love the personalized feel that the hospital has to offer. The physicians and medical staff are able to offer patients individualized care. Also, it is a small community hospital that can provide a wide variety of care from primary care to specialty care.
If you hadn’t become a physician, what would you be doing?
After all those years of dedication and training it’s hard to imagine doing something else, but I suppose I would have loved to train to become a professional beach volleyball player—although I realize that this may not be so realistic!!
What are your hobbies and interests outside of the office?
I love to spend as much time as I can staying active with sports and fitness and enjoying the warm summer months of Chicago with my wife and my 15 month old son.