I recently sat down with Dipak Patel, DO to learn more about his background and career at CHC. Dr. Patel obtained his undergraduate degree in Biology and Nutrition from Pennsylvania State University and attended medical school at New York Institute of Technology. After graduation he started his residency at Peninsula Hospital, a community hospital in an underserved area of Far Rockaway, Queens, New York.
Throughout college and medical school, Dr. Patel was active in several service projects; he was a member of Big Brothers Big Sisters, a volunteer EMT, and he also had a part time job for 8 years. After college but prior to medical school, Dr. Patel completed a one-year service program through AmeriCorps at a community health center in Philadelphia and spent one-year overseas in various volunteer programs.
Upon the completion of his residency, Dr. Patel moved to Connecticut where he started his career as a family medicine physician at the Community Health Center in Meriden in July 2009. In keeping with his work ethic, he continued to have a second job as a hospitalist at MidState Medical Center in Meriden.
Dr. Patel worked every weekend for three years, however, he currently works every fourth weekend at MidState Medical Center and full-time at CHC Meriden where he has been the Onsite Medical Director for 3 years. In his role at CHC, Dr. Patel is responsible for managing a full patient panel and directly supervising 12 Physicians and APRNs.
Over Dr. Patel’s 7 years of medical training and now 7 years in practice, he has learned that many of our most common medical problems- diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, heart problems and obesity -are usually not cured with medications or surgery. This is quite frustrating in that he wants to help people get better. Other physicians and researchers, including Dr. Dean Ornish, Dr. Caldwell Esslstein, Dr. Neal Barnard, Dr. John McDougall and T. Colin Campbell, PhD have shown that these chronic medical conditions can be reversed and/or cured through an optimal diet and lifestyle program within a short period of time. This information is not new but it is not part of standard medical training. Dr. Patel sought out additional education via CME courses and direct training from those doctors.
The programs established by Dr. Ornish and others are out of reach, due to cost and location, for most of the patients at CHC Meriden, though the actual information is free online at each of their respective websites. Dr. Patel would like to bring the structure of those programs to his patients at CHC Meriden and has plans to start a small pilot program for 6 weeks in the near future.
In his free time, Dr. Patel likes to engage in various exercises, like running, yoga and strength training as well as travel with his wife and 2 young children.