Meet the Doctor: Alekhya Potluri, MD
Alekhya Potluri, MD, is a noninvasive cardiologist at Einstein Medical Center Philadelphia. She sees patients at Einstein Cardiology offices on Tabor Road. Dr. Potluri is board certified in internal medicine and cardiovascular disease.
We spoke recently with Dr. Potluri about her career, her interests and cardiology at Einstein Healthcare Network.
Q: Why did you decide to become a doctor?
A: Growing up, I always loved taking care of people around me, and my parents always inspired me to give back to communities in need. Becoming a physician seemed like the perfect answer for me.
I enjoyed the idea of challenging nature. As doctors, we’re trying to change what’s going on in the human body and genuinely make our patients feel better.
Q: Tell us about your educational background.
A: I hail from India, and so completed my medical school training at Siddhartha Medical College in India. Then my husband and I came to the United States to pursue further medical training. I completed my internal medicine residency at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh and my fellowships in cardiovascular disease and advanced heart failure at Einstein Medical Center Philadelphia.
Q: Why did you choose your specialty?
A: As I was growing up, I had a lot of family experiences with severe coronary artery disease. Cardiovascular disease is the most common cause of death in the United States, so knowing that and recognizing it in my personal life really drew me to this field. I thought I could try to improve cardiovascular care for the people I came across in hope of making them feel better and live longer.
Q: What are some of your clinical interests?
A: I believe prevention is better than cure. It’s important to prevent heart disease before we get there, and that’s something I take great interest in. I’m also interested in using my training in heart failure to prevent hospital readmissions and to improve overall quality of life.
I take special interest in women’s health. At Einstein, we see a lot of young female patients – women with young kids and especially pregnant women with eclampsia and pre-eclampsia. I’m interested in preventing hospitalizations and potential heart-related complications in those patients.
I also evaluate and treat patients in Pre-operative Clinic prior to kidney transplantation. I address and treat any underlying cardiovascular disease so that their cardiovascular risk factors are well optimized for them prior to getting their transplant surgery.
My new area of interest that I have started to pursue is the Cardio-Oncology clinic. I evaluate and treat patients with cardiovascular side effects from cancer treatment, including chemotherapy and radiation.
Q: What drew you to Einstein?
A: That was a no-brainer for me. I did four years of training here as a cardiology fellow and a heart failure fellow. I love the doctors here, all my colleagues, the staff, and everyone else. As for the patients, they have such respect for us. They give us all that love back, and it’s such a nice feeling to have reciprocated.
Q: How would you describe yourself as a doctor?
A: I’ve always been very patient and a great listener. For me, the most important aspect to treatment is recognizing a patient’s social background. Prescribing medications and completing procedures doesn’t translate to great clinical care.
You need to understand what is going on in a patient’s life. How do they take their pills? Who fills their prescriptions? Can they even get to a pharmacy to fill those prescriptions? Do they have insurance? Those kinds of social issues are something I have always been very particular about.
I like to provide a more personalized approach to patient care because it builds a physician-patient trust and relationship, and that’s something I value greatly.
Q: Why should people choose Einstein for cardiology?
A: Einstein is a great institution where physicians and staff are determined to serve the local community in great need of superior-quality health care and health literacy. We strive to improve patient care and health care outcomes.
Q: What are your interests outside of work?
A: I have two little kids. One is 4 and the other is almost 2. I love spending time with them. Usually I’m with them until their bedtime. I love to play with them and read to them. Right now, their favorite i books are What Dreamers Dream and Busy Noisy Farm.
Other than that, we’ve gotten really into gardening as a family. It’s our recent activity for the summer.
Q: What are you growing?
A: In the front yard, I grow different kinds of flowers, but the backyard is for our vegetable and herb garden. So we and the birds and bunnies have been enjoying some small harvests of tomatoes, jalapenos, green peppers, that kind of stuff. It’s been fun.
Q: Do you have a favorite flower?
A: I love all flowers, but if I had to choose one, it would be dahlias.
Q: What’s something most people don’t know about you?
A: I was an Indian national chess player, ranking No. 5 in the Under 13 Years Old category, with several state championships under my belt.