Dr. Mrinali Patel Gupta is completing her Fellowship at Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York, NY. She will be joining the faculty of the Vitreoretinal Surgery Service at Weill Cornell Medical College / New York-Presbyterian Hospital at the end of June.
Dr. Gupta has had many achievements in her early career including the prestigious Ronald G. Michels Fellowship Foundation award. This award is granted annually to the outstanding second-year vitreoretinal fellows in training. Dr. Gupta received this award last October at the Academy of Ophthalmology in Chicago. There are 75 Michels Fellows since the inception in 1991. Dr. Gupta is quite accomplished from academic awards to peer reviewed publications and book chapters.
I asked Dr. Donald J. D’Amico, Weill Cornell Chairman of Ophthalmology, about Dr. Gupta, and he said, “Dr. Gupta is an outstanding, multi-talented fellow, and will be a wonderful addition to our faculty and to the world of retina. In addition to having all of the qualities that we wish for in a fellow (brilliant, hard working, reliable, exceptional personal and professional values, skilled hands, and highly motivated), she is a caring, compassionate physician and a real team player. The only difficulties I have ever encountered with Dr. Gupta revolved around recruiting her; with her (and her husband’s) loyalty to Duke, and after Mass Eye and Ear fell in love with her, I had a real battle on my hands! But in the end, we all discovered that she is a real New Yorker in the best meaning of the term, including her elegant sense of style. In addition, she found Weill Cornell, with our mix of highly active academic clinical practice and laboratory research, to be a perfect launching pad for her, I am sure, stellar career, and we are delighted to welcome to our retina faculty.”
Following the Fellows continues to be interesting because the Fellows’ responses vary and provide superb insight. A couple of Dr. Gupta’s responses are quite candid… Why she decided to go into retina and her favorite hand-held instrument. See the entire interview with Dr. Gupta below.
Where did you attend to Medical school?
Dr. Gupta: I went to medical school at Duke University. Thereafter, I did my Internship at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, followed by a Residency in Ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School/Mass Eye and Ear Infirmary. I’m currently finishing my 2nd year of Vitreoretinal Surgery Fellowship at Weill Cornell Medical Center / New York-Presbyterian Hospital.
Why did you choose Retina versus another subspecialty?
Dr. Gupta: I think the retina is a truly remarkable, complex, and beautifully engineered structure, and it is such an honor to have the opportunity to try to improve vision and in turn, patients’ quality of life through the medical and surgical treatment of retinal diseases. From an academic perspective, I enjoy the scientific, very evidence-driven nature of the field and am actively engaged in and interested in translational and basic science research in retina.
What’s the biggest surprise, thus far, in your second year of Fellowship?
Dr. Gupta: One of the things I love most about retina and what never ceases to amaze me is how every surgery is unique, and how there are so many different ways to approach a surgical case. In addition to loving the manual and technical aspects of surgery, I really enjoy the thought process involved before and during surgery of determining the best surgical approach for each individual case.
What’s your favorite small gauge platform? And why?
Dr. Gupta: As a fellow, I’ve operated using the ALCON® CONSTELLATION® 23/25/27 gauge systems, as well as the Bausch + Lomb STELLARIS® 23/25 gauge systems. I find both to be quite excellent, and I feel fortunate to have had experience using different platforms and different gauge instrumentation, as each has its own nuances and offers advantages (and disadvantages) for specific surgical situations.
Is that different than what your Attending Physicians use during surgery?
Dr. Gupta: In general our Attending Physicians are using the 23, 25, and 27 gauge systems to varying degrees.
What is your surgical case volume?
Dr. Gupta: The surgical case volume during my fellowship has been excellent, with tremendous breadth and depth of cases ranging from primary retinal detachments and macular surgery to complex PVR and tractional diabetic detachments, as well as pediatric retina cases, vitrectomy on KPro patients, and sutured IOLs. The faculty under whom I’ve trained similarly have their own unique approaches to certain surgeries, which has contributed to a varied experience.
What is your favorite hand-held instrument and why?
Dr. Gupta: The vitrector ;). In all honesty, I don’t have one specific favorite hand-held instrument. Different instruments are the “ideal” instrument in different surgical scenarios. The key during fellowship has been trying to get experience using a wide variety of instruments so that one can select and adeptly use the right instrument for the right situation. That being said, it’s truly remarkable to me, especially as the vitrectomy instrumentations have gotten smaller and smaller in gauge, how much the vitrector itself can accomplish so much beyond vitrectomy itself — in peeling/segmenting/etc., membranes and a number of other maneuvers.
What is your favorite place to vacation when you have a few days off?
Dr. Gupta: When we have a few days off, my husband and I like to spend a few days in New England — Maine in particular, as it’s just a short flight from NYC and so beautiful and serene…a great place to unwind and relax.
We wish you the very best, Dr. Gupta. We know you will do great things in retina whether you are operating or conducting research.
Dr. Gupta can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.