Meet the Doctor: Archit Naik, MD
Archit Naik, MD, MBA, is a breast surgeon in the Einstein Healthcare Network. He joined Einstein in March 2019 as Director of Breast Surgery and Women’s Health. He sees patients and performs surgery at Einstein Medical Center Montgomery.
We recently spoke with Dr. Naik about his career, his interests, and breast cancer care at Einstein.
Perspectives: Why did you decide to become a doctor?
Dr. Naik: It was never “I want to be a doctor.” It was always “I want to be a surgeon.” I like to see a problem and solve it. That’s why surgery appealed to me.
Perspectives: Tell us about your education background.
Dr. Naik: I went to North Penn High School, in Lansdale, and then to the University of Pennsylvania. Then I got into Drexel College of Medicine, and then Drexel surgical residency at Hahnemann University Hospital. At that point, I met my fiancée (now my wife), and her family’s from Northeast Philly, so we didn’t want to move too far. So I spent seven years at Hahnemann, and I did two years of research while I was a surgical resident. I got my MBA at Drexel in my spare time because I wanted to learn the business side of medicine and that’s not taught in medical school.
Perspectives: How did you choose your specialty of breast surgery?
Dr. Naik: Earlier in my college years, my aunt had breast cancer and we went through that and it recurred, and we went through chemotherapy and everything else that goes with that. All of that kind of coalesced into one thing. I want to do something that I’m passionate about, and breast surgery just seemed ideal.
So I got a breast fellowship and I went to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital and the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey. I finally got out of state, but I still lived in King of Prussia and commuted.
Perspectives: What drew you to Einstein?
Dr. Naik: Well, I grew up around here, so I knew Einstein was good. Einstein Medical Center Montgomery was brand new, the people were super nice, and finally the key thing was it had the ability to do the newer things I want to do in breast surgery. It also has a residency program, and I like to work with residents as well. It has a big general surgery staff. It’s everything that the community needs. And this community is where I wanted to work for sure because it’s my home. So it was a perfect match.
Perspectives: You are Director of Breast Surgery and Women’s Health for the Einstein Healthcare Network. What are your responsibilities?
Dr. Naik: I think the most important thing is to make sure we have good quality care. We’re meeting and actually exceeding the standards of the NAPBC, the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers. So a lot of my job is reviewing our own data and making sure we’re getting patients in on time and we’re giving the appropriate treatment. And making sure our outcomes are better than the average. That’s done through a cohesive team effort, especially for breast surgery, where we have medical oncologists, radiologists, radiation oncologists, nurses, physical therapy. It’s a lot of people, and it really involves getting everyone together on the same page so we provide the highest quality care. We’re constantly looking at our data, so it’s a continual effort to just make ourselves better and better.
Perspectives: Why should people come to Einstein for breast cancer care?
Dr. Naik: First of all, the people here are fantastic. When we see patients, we know them by name. One of the reasons I wanted to do breast cancer surgery instead of general surgery is that the patients come back and they remember you. It’s that family thing, which is important because then the staff and everyone does go out of their way to help patients.
Secondly, we have advanced technology. We offer all kinds of breast surgery. We are one of the few hospitals in the area that have what’s called a margin probe. It uses radiofrequency spectroscopy on the specimen to assess margins of what we take out at the time of surgery so that we can decrease the number of patients that have to go back to surgery for a re-excision. It’s been decreased from about 20% to 5%, and that is a big deal.
Another reason to come here is that we have a team approach. Every patient is presented at a staff conference. We have the input of all the doctors and all the nurses and physical therapists; even the pathologist is there. We have a breast nurse navigator who handholds and guides the patient. Our nurse calls the medical oncologist and does all the treatment follow-up and tells the patient, “All right, this day you go here, this day you go there.” When people get surgery and then plastic surgery, we’ve arranged where a plastic surgeon comes here in this office. We see the patients together, and we plan our incisions together, which means we have better outcomes. We’re working together and always in communication.
Perspectives: What are your interests outside work?
Dr. Naik: We like to travel. I have two kids, a 12-year-old and a 10-year-old, which is a lot of fun. So usually it’s swimming in the pool with the kids or playing basketball and football. I coached my son’s basketball team, his baseball team. On the weekends, we go out hiking to the local trails around here. We try to hike like an hour, an hour and a half. Winters, we go snowboarding and skiing. We’re very outdoorsy.
Perspectives: Do you have a favorite book?
Dr. Naik: I have several books. The most recent one I read was called Educated. It’s a great book, a true story, about a lady who grew up in the Mormon community and didn’t go to school until college and she was homeschooled by herself. She ended up going to Harvard and Cambridge and writing this book. It’s pretty amazing, the way it shows her motivation. I tell my kids to read it and have the courage that if you want something, go get it.
Perspectives: What about a favorite movie?
Dr. Naik: Any movie that I can go to with my kids is my favorite movie.
Perspectives: Do you have a favorite sports team?
Dr. Naik: All the Philly teams are my favorites – definitely the Sixers.
Perspectives: How about a favorite vacation spot?
Dr. Naik: We’ve got several. Our favorite is Hawaii. We’ve been there several times. My son loves it there. He likes surfing there. We love going on the hikes and the canyons, and there’s just so much stuff to do there. And the food! We like the fresh fruits and everything.