Meet Dr. Nikita Gupta, an otolaryngologist who treats general ear, nose, and throat problems and also focuses on facial plastic reconstructive surgery and cosmetic procedures. As a member of the UK Ear, Nose & Throat team, she provides reconstruction for patients with skin cancer, facial nerve paralysis, nasal obstruction and deformities due to trauma. In this week's edition of Making the Rounds, we talked to Dr. Gupta about her unexpected journey to medicine, how she approaches each patient's challenges and more.
When did you know that you wanted to become a doctor?
When I was a kid, I was sure I wasn’t going to be a doctor. I was going to be a rocket scientist, and then I decided to go into biomedical engineering. I really loved it. I loved the critical thinking. I liked solving problems.
But once I got into the clinic, I realized I could do those things there, work with patients every single day, determine their motivations and solve problems for them.
How do you build trust with your patients?
I’m not just there to treat one specific thing. I’m there to treat them as a whole, so I like to know a little bit about their background, what their motivations are and what’s going to help me best treat them.
A lot of times they feel like how they present or how they look doesn’t jibe with how they feel. Ultimately what we’re trying to do is to get people to feel their best by matching their outward appearance with how they feel inside.
What's exciting in the field of research right now?
Tissue engineering is something that’s very exciting to me. A lot of times it’s hard to reconstruct certain deformities, so it would be really great if we could take a patient’s cells, grow what’s missing and use that to reconstruct what they need. It’s a really exciting field with a lot of applications.
What inspires you?
Seeing people ahead of me doing really great things inspires me, like people I’ve trained with. My parents have really great lives and careers, and seeing them be productive is really inspiring.
If you weren't a doctor, what would you be doing instead?
I remember being asked this question during medical school interviews. I was split between doing engineering or public health. That’s what I like so much about medicine – you get to do everything.
Watch our interview with Dr. Nikita Gupta to discover more about her passion for excellent patient care.