Doctor, researcher, Indian dancer -- Dr. Patel has many talents

She speaks four foreign languages and five different Indian dialects. She's trained as a classical Indian dancer, has a medical degree from Vitebsk State Medical University in Belarus, Byelorussia, and now seeks her master's in public health degree at UNMC.

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Ketki Patel, M.D.
Ketki Patel, M.D., is from Gujarat State in west India, and she doesn't sit still for long.

After she returned to India from Byelorussia, Dr. Patel was overwhelmed by the lack of public health officials in the country.

"In India there are few public health professionals and many issues to tackle," she said. "The most intriguing to me is child labor, which is uncontrolled and rampant in certain states in India."

Guided to UNMC

She met Nayanjeet Chaudhury M,D, adjunct faculty at UNMC's College of Public Health, who told her about the college's distance learning program through the Asian Institute of Public Health in Bhubaneswar, India. She thought it would be a perfect fit.

Dr. Patel was about to finish her core courses at the institute when Ayman El-Mohandes, M.B.B.Ch., M.D., M.P.H., dean of the College of Public Health, visited the school and saw her dance in a show the students presented in his honor. Dr. El-Mohandes snapped the photo of her on the right.

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Dr. Patel -- an MPH student in the College of Public Health -- is trained in classical Indian dance, which will be performed Sunday at the Bharat Mela event at UNMC.
A dancer since the age of 6, Dr. Patel also does belly-dancing, salsa and freestyle and has taught these dancing styles in Byelorussia and India.

UNMC means opportunity

She arrived in Omaha this fall to complete her concentration in environmental, agricultural and occupational health and conduct some research.

She is a research assistant under the guidance Pinaki Panigrahi, M.D., Ph.D., director of UNMC's Center for Global Health and Development in the College of Public Health, and professor of epidemiology and pediatrics, and Dinesh Chandel Ph.D., assistant professor at the center and of environmental, agricultural and occupational health.

"It's been great to be exposed to the international faculty and students at UNMC and to different approaches and ideologies," she said. "I find that most problems are universal."


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ketki patel
October 01, 2011 at 7:33 PM

Thank you Paula and Saurabh for the kind gesture!

Saurabh Patil
September 29, 2011 at 2:31 PM

I have known her for almost a decade now! She is blessed with an extremely energetic, radiant personality, and yet is very down to earth. Be it med school or a mediocre test, she was always the "discussion hub" in the final days of revision..Kind and helpful. All the very best, Ketki!

Paula Turpen
September 28, 2011 at 9:04 AM


Sunday’s event

See classical Indian dancers as well as Bollywood dancers at the Rhythms of India/Bharat Mela event on Sunday at the Sorrell Center Campus Events Center. The event runs from 2 to 10 p.m. Visit bharatmelaatomaha.blogspot.com for more information or tickets.