I’m Rajee Hari, president and CEO of ProteonMed, a health care staffing and recruiting solution provider based out of the Woodlands, Texas.
We are super excited to have a very special guest today on our podcast. It’s Dr. Nangrani.
She’s a physician for more than 15 years who provides a holistic approach to treating clients.
She is the owner of Veda’s MedSpa and held in high regards in the North Houston area.
She’s beautiful inside out and extends the same care and compassion to her clients.
Welcome to ProteonPulse, Dr. Nangrani.
Thank you, Rajee. Appreciate it.
Absolutely. We’re so excited to have you here.
Tell us a little bit about yourself, your background, and your journey in medical profession thus far.
I can’t believe been that long. When you say 15 years, it makes me it’s been that long.
But, yeah, I did my medicine in India, and that we did almost 2001 at the time.
I had my sister studying here at that time in US, and I started looking at how am I gonna get here.
And my path was I always knew that I’m gonna come to US, and so it was a little bit easier, a little bit more defined than And I had started looking at USMLEs, the preps, and all even in India.
And at the time, we had, all these paper exams and all nothing like computer exams like we do these days, but there was very little information available.
But somehow we, you know, had a still a good network and started the studies, and I came right after my med school internship to US and started studying in Kaplan there.
Got introduced to a lot of other students who were doing the same.
When I came here, I my goal was pediatric.
But when I came to this country, I realized there’s something different with family medicine.
Pediatrics was a very different specialty.
I really had a Indian physician mentor in Dallas who let me shadow our Dr.Kapil and she’s probably retired now.
She had a family practice position at that time at the Baylor Hospital, and she let me shadow her for a month, 2 months.
I realized how amazing family practice was, and you had so much variety.
it just reminded me of our our own family physician.
That’s why I picked the specialty, applied for it.
I remember at that time looking for all these recommendation letters.
there was this opportunity to scribe, where you can shadow ER physicians.
That was a new term at the time in 2006.
Dr. Trotter in Dallas was doing this experiment on if this is even a possibility to have take away the work of physicians by having a scribe with them.
I was the first batch of scribes there in Methodist and in Dallas.
I also kind of got, like, interested in ER at that time. I was like, this is amazing.
I was shadowing all these doctors for a year. I did that.
It really helped me solidify my medical knowledge and and the confidence in the system here.
So you talked about plan. Right?
So when you did your USMLE, did you have to come in on a visa and do it?
What was the visa that you had?
How did you come here to do that USMLE and then get into the scribing?
I was fortunate. My dad had studied here, and he had his green card.
So he had applied for our green card.
So we were green card holders, and we were introduced to US culture.
Since that was in 10th grade, we were coming and we kept our status.
That’s interesting. Okay.
It’s a little different path, but my husband, I know he came on a student visa, and he had applied for health management course in in UNT at that time.
He had to go through all the H1 and all that process.
At that time, you know, when you when you are looking at your specialty.
I was interested in so many different things.
I couldn’t just see myself as parting with, you know, one specialty.
That’s why I really did take family medicine.
I applied for my residency.
I got a pre match offer from this hospital, which is now Beaumont Hospital in Gross Point.
It was a perfect community hospital.
I picked that hospital because there were no other residents.
The hospital was pretty much run by seven family practice residents for the year.
So I felt like that was a great opportunity for me to get my scale with the bell.
Because sometimes in big academic centers, I felt like I would be lost.
A community hospital, I got to, like, serve a great community and run the ICU units and and pretty much be with all the specialists with the cardiology, dermatology.
So I picked that program, and I graduated in 2006.
Then we got married.
My husband was applying for his fellowship at that point.
We had to move to Mayo Clinic for his fellowship.
I picked up a ER job at that time because I couldn’t establish my practice there.
So I was recruited by one of the Mayo Clinic Hospital as a ER physician.
At those days, family physicians had a lot more you could do a lot more in with my experience.
I was able to. And with my residency experience, I was able to get that position.
We did that for a year.
How did you meet your husband? Was he also in Michigan at that time?
I met in a UMT in a library when you were studying.
And — Oh, Yes.
He applied also in Michigan, and our parents, you know, wanted us to wait to finish our courses and then get married.
So that’s how it it got planned out.
So that’s interesting.
So you you wanted to become a pediatrician, and then you did your scribe under a family physician, and you went into family physician residency.
And then you took a stopgap, I suppose, with the emergency ER situation.
Yep. Yep. I did.
Yeah. Wow. Okay. Then how did you come into antiaging? Now that’s this gets really interesting here.
After I was in, like you know, then I went back to my med my residency program.
I was a faculty there for 3 years. I practiced there for 3 years.
Then I got pregnant, you know, with my daughter, and then I got pregnant again with my son.
At that point, my Michigan was going through a lot of changes.
My husband had finished his fellowship and his specialty.
We moved to Houston.
I was looking for opportunities at that time in family medicine, and it’s very interesting.
Yes, I was always doing a derm stuff even in my family practice in in Michigan and everywhere I’m being, I was always interested in acne.
But I never thought that, okay. I’m gonna just go in and start my antiageing practice.
I was postpartum looking for position. And at that point, oh, gosh.
I mean, I have to be honest, I did not find anything which gave me that leverage over.
I saw a medicine changing also, I think, at that point.
I just saw most family physicians were just in bigger bills.
We’re just told to refer patients out.
Didn’t really have a lot of say in doing the procedures.
And then and these are just you know, it’s times where Obamacare was coming in.
There was a lot of confusion in medicine at that time.
And so in that postpartum phase, I took a ER job again at St. Luke’s.
Lakeside Hospital had just opened up, and they needed physician, and that was perfect opportunity for me to get going till I found what I wanted to do next.
That’s where I started saying, why not just do my own practice and create a concierge of what I feel, and I’m wanting for women.
You know, Rajee, when you see your own body changing, when you had babies, you realize, okay.
That’s true. I see. Yeah.
And then you tie it all up with medicine.
Fantastic. What a journey!
So you had to do a fellowship in aesthetic medicine and antiaging as well, Right?
Yes. Once I made up my mind that I’m gonna do this on my own, I started meeting with I started attending lot of local conferences.
That’s when I realized, okay, I need to go do this fellowship.
When you put that idea that you wanna do something, you get surrounded by, like, literally, that’s what happened to me.
But, like-minded people, and then they guide you.
And I ended up in a fellowship program with the entire aging.
when I was doing my aesthetic fellowship there, a lot of my colleagues were like, hey.
You’re background in family medicine.
What about functional medicine? Why don’t you just continue this path?
I was like, initially, what are you talking about? I don’t understand.
I mean, there’s why do I need to do functional medicine?
And then you just find your love in medicine again.
Really just diving to a little bit more.
I realized, like, it’s the same part of medicine.
It’s just a different approach where you’re actually helping your patients with weight loss.
And so that’s we’ve just created and it was no plan. This is the part.
It just continues to happen, and you just keep your one foot in front of the other.
Amazing how your journey has been.
Like, how as you said, you know, it’s kind of like interlocking pieces.
But then they all came together, right, to create this beautiful collage of Veda’s Medspa and how you’ve been inspiring women around you and helping women achieve the self confidence and and and the sense of, you know, well-being. Right?
So as you said, the functional aspect of medicine and also you’re giving back to women. Right?
So that’s something that really resonates with me as well.
So what is the concept of antiaging and antiaging medicine?
And how does it differ from traditional approaches to health care.
In your traditional approach, you’re always looking at your patient and conditions.
Say there’s a blood pressure issue. There’s a diabetes issue. And, yes, we have in our medicine.
We’ve done a good job with with emergency care, and there’s no question that’s needed.
But when it comes to chronic conditions like asthma, blood pressure, and diabetes, I feel like we have a very quick pill approach And do you do question it?
That’s what your mentors have taught you.
And you’re in your med school, then you need a residency, so you don’t question at that time.
But when you look at Okay, Why am I just giving your blood pressure pill but not talking about the diet change?
Why am I just doing diabetes and not giving this patient a home that, yes, lifestyle modification can make a change.
And, yes, now, you know, a lot of studies do show that approach, but when I was looking at it, this was not considered a norm.
And I think that’s what surprised me.
A patient is seeking that. They are going to naturopaths. They are going to chiropractors.
And chiropractors, naturopaths, I have nothing against them. They have taken this and and helped these patients.
But I wish more MDs would do this because it really helps.
You can look at both aspects for your patients, give them a custom approach which they deserve.
Because we do have our likes and, you know, this is what I would prefer.
And this is what I can do for myself and helping them with the underlying issues and these chronic conditions is really great.
It helps a lot of these patients.
Interesting. So you do bring in a little bit of the naturopathy, a little bit of influencing the healthy living, diet, exercise, a holistic approach to this whole practice of anti aging.
So tell me a little bit about how those concepts affect how a person deals with aging process.
For most patients, they wanna feel better, but they don’t know how to get there.
And we tell them, okay, your blood pressure is high.
Let me get you this medication.
Sometimes a lot of the side effects, a lot of the micronutrient deficiencies.
Still, they are their blood pressure is great, but they’re still not feeling better.
The antiaging approach is really focused on getting the feel better and and the cosmetic approach I give is helping the patient look better.
Because if I just did something which makes them look refreshed, but they didn’t feel refreshed, I think I’m just doing half the job.
So this is where you look at a patient on its own and see what do they wanna go first.
A lot of times, this is why I feel very fulfilled when say, okay.
I was a tired mom who’s just had a baby. Okay.
Let’s do your Botox and, like, let’s get you looking fresh. You know, that’s it.
That is a big moral boost for that, you know, that tired mother when she looks in the mirror, she feels better about it.
A lot of my older patients who are feeling like, oh my god. I’ve got an older.
I don’t know what happened. Why did I started looking like this?
I don’t even recognize this person in the mirror. I think that’s where I feel like, okay.
Let’s see what bothers you, and let’s go step by step.
Lot of these patients are not looking for major surgeries. They’re not looking for a drastic change.
They’re very happy with their bodies and their self, but there is a part of them they miss, where they were 5, 10 years ago.
So what’s a common misconception about aging that you frequently encounter in your practice?
Feel like the common misconception is that, you know, that it happened overnight.
That’s true. That’s true, though.
Yeah. Yeah. Oh my god.
When did I realize that I am suddenly not this vague or I have no energy.
And if we’re like, no. It happens slowly. We just choose not to make it a priority.
And if all of us just said, no.
I am gonna put myself, my health, my whatever I feel, even mental health for that reason as a priority.
I think it’s, you know, it’s so important that that introspective that we do take time for ourselves to get there.
And whatever that baseline might be for you,
That’s true. I mean, I can totally understand where it’s coming from.
You suddenly one day wake up because, oh my god. I need to change myself.
My lifestyle, and then and then you realize how did this all app happen? And you realize, oh, wow.
It’s a it’s just been a slow process and little things that’s been adding up in life. That’s that’s a great — Yeah.
That’s a great answer.
Many people don’t know where to start adopting this antiaging lifestyle.
When they are so unsure of this whole process, what would be your advice on where they can start and how to approach this?
It’s hard to give, like, one advice for everyone. Right?
But I really think, like, talking to your doctor about it or looking for some practice like that, who can you know?
And then making sure, like, I always say, like, let’s start with one simple change, right.
Whether it be a diet, whether it be, like, okay, understanding.
Even just creating that awareness, what am I doing to abuse my body or my mind here on day to day basis.
I do teach my patients, like, breathing exercises, meditation. It’s like a prescription they get. Okay.
Just like how you have to go take this pill to think about that as 20 minutes of walk.
So I always say, like, putting that attention on your body and mind and physically what you’re needing.
I will stop there. I would just stop just saying, like, okay.
This is what I need, and then let’s get you some help.
So, yeah, I mean, that’s true, everything starts from within first rather than just what you feel inside is what is reflected on the outside.
Another thing that I have is questions regarding the cosmetic procedures that you mentioned.
Botox and the dermal fillers, in the context of antiaging, what are the potential benefits and risks associated with these procedures?
I mean, in the right hand, I don’t think. So there are any risks.
The only thing I tell people is you’re gonna like them, and you wanna maintain them.
Botox, fillers, everything we do is always my go to line is nothing in cosmetic is permanent, what I do.
If you don’t like it, it’s gonna go away. I really think it’s very simpler.
When you start seeing the line switch bother you on your forehead, on your on your eyes, in your neck, I think Botox is really there as a prevention.
I mean, any neurotoxin relaxes those muscles, and it prevents further lines to be made.
It’s very superficial. It’s not going any deeper.
So I think it’s a I know some people are afraid of it. I would say, yes.
You always wanna find the right place and the right person to do it.
But just like we get our hair and nails, then we are okay with that.
I think Botox is just here to stay.
If you can afford it, I think everybody should look into it and and see what they find and if they don’t like it, it’s it’s gonna go away.
Absolutely. Yeah. Coming to the business side of the physician lifestyle.
You are a physician, you are a business owner, a successful woman entrepreneur.
What do you think are the qualities in skills that you feel that one should have to pursue into this area of family practice.
If you are passionate about helping them in, I think I would pick this area.
Or even even your patients for that reason because this is a lot of feel good field where where the patients are comfortable or accounting on you and it is a lot of hand holding which you’re doing for your patients on day to day basis.
I enjoy. It comes a little bit natural to me, I think.
But at the same time, I think it really comes with their own skill set.
And if this is what they love, they’ll find a way to make it work.
That’s true. That’s true.
What exactly do you look for when you’re hiring a staff member for Veda MedSpa?
I look for a good personality and outspoken personality who can know that they care, and they can do provide that cushion for my patients?
Of course. I mean, they need to have a passion for this and definitely the comfort Zoom is what is needed, especially in your side of business as well.
How do you manage the staffing challenges or the conflicts that may arise when you’re hiring.
That’s one thing that I commonly hear from physician business owners is the staffing challenges that they face.
How do you handle that? How do you manage the retention and also the turnover in your business?
Rajee, that’s been hard. I feel like we are competing with lot bigger hospitals and benefits and all.
As a small practice, you know, I used to you know how this area is.
I used to joke. Like, finally, I feel like it’s a school. You you train people, and then they get recruited somewhere else.
But I might as well just open a training school at this point.
I’m hearing this from quite a few people. Yeah. That’s true.
It’s trying to create a lot of team building exercises with your staff doing a lot of talking and showing them what small office benefits can be.
I think we try to try to stay ahead of it and also having more.
I think that’s the other thing I’ve learned over a period of years, like, not being understaffed.
I think it’s okay to be a little overstaffed, always having that that way most you know, for me, we have mostly women in our practice.
And it’s just that’s how it works for our patients.
That’s how it’s been, but it’s that’s a comfort.
And then you find that creative group of women who are supporting each other, their schedules, and making sure that there’s enough room if somebody’s child is sick, or if somebody needs a little break, creating those rules and consistencies and policies, I think all that helps.
And having always a backup.
I have more part time staff than full time because I feel like that has just worked for us.
That’s true. That’s true. Yeah. I mean, you need to find a solution within the the limits that you’re you know, that you’re experiencing.
And I feel that you do a great job of it. Because I have seen how you also embrace the teenagers and youngsters and train them and expose them to the world of business as well.
So I really wish everyone would follow your footstep and try to not underestimate anybody’s potential, but train them and make things work for them.
So I think you’ve done a fabulous job of that. But as you said, it’s definitely challenging.
I like the idea that you can be overstaffed than under staff.
And especially in business physician business, it it’s very, very important to follow that. I can resonate with that.
Has it been worse before COVID19 or after COVID19 in terms of finding suitable staff and also how did that impact your business, the COVID19 pandemic?
I think there was a there was a time after during COVID and after COVID where e were struggling to have more staff. And, of course, during COVID, we had a lot more difficulties.
And even 6 months after, I think, you know, a lot of women had gotten used to staying home or travel.
There were a lot traveling nurses, which were being recruited outside.
But I think we also had I mean, recently, it’s been all good because we’ve had a lot influx of resumes from New Jersey and California.
There have been a lot of growth from people who have moved to our town. That has helped in terms of resumes.
Like, we have more people applying for a position. Now has it changed in the quality of the candidates?
I look say, I think there has been a little bit of shift now that we’ve been through COVID times that people are looking at more opportunities to work from home.
Maybe a little bit more of this thing that they they just wanna be at home with their children because they got that time during COVID.
It’s taken a hit on medical paternity for sure, I think. Because just like lot of other companies, were working figured out how they can do things on Zoom and from home.
I think a lot of my teammates and all were looking at other positions because they wanted that flexibility suddenly, which wasn’t even an option before.
Right. Yeah. I mean, work from home has definitely been a boon and a bane, especially for the medical industry, where everything was in person, pivoting, and trying to do some of the things that can be done remotely definitely was a learning curve for many people. And hopefully, you know, now how is it?
Have you normalized this whole process now?
I think so. I think we have.
I think, you know, like I said, if you give yourself a little flexibility on being home certain days and giving them those cool off periods and rotating them, I think this works really well.
It’d been okay for a while. Yes.
Nice. So just a last few advice or few words from you as an advice for future medical students who want to follow your foot path what would be your advice to them?
I say look. Continue to, you know, look for those conferences, opportunities, There’s a lot of networking.
There’s a lot of value which comes from being in presence of other mentors.
Don’t be afraid to ask to shadow or to put yourself out there.
I have to do that as a following medical graduate.
I feel very fortunate to have those kind of things, but it was also because I was not afraid to ask for help.
There was no work left.
I was ready to, you know, just make my way up.
That’s true. Yeah. Embrace whatever is there and make the best of it.
That’s exactly what I would say too.
So thank you so much, Dr. Nangrani, for joining the podcast.
Really appreciate your time, and I know you have a busy schedule.
I appreciate that you’ve called out some time to come on my podcast.
I hope this would help someone if somebody wants to reach you, how do you think they can reach you?
What is the contact to be reached?
They can always call our office you know, and our office number is 281-298-5476.
They can always find me and send me a message our email, and we’ll be happy to help.
But thank you, Rajee. This is yeah. We’ve been wanting to do this for a while.
So I’m glad we could make this happen.
Thank you. Thank you so much. I appreciate it. Thanks, everyone, for listening to the podcast.
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