“Meet Grand Rounds” is a series of interviews introducing some of the people working to make quality health care accessible to everyone, everywhere.

The Clinical Team at Grand Rounds consists of staff physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants who work directly with our patients to provide comprehensive and personalized clinical guidance. Learn more about our new Chief Medical Officer, Ami Parekh, in the Q&A below.

What inspired you to join Grand Rounds?

The thing that inspired me the most to join Grand Rounds—besides the patient-centered focus of every single person I talked to—is the ability to have impact at a massive scale. I’ve been really lucky in my career to serve tens of thousands and maybe hundreds of thousands of patients, but to be able to make a difference in millions of lives is very inspiring, and I truly believe we can do it at Grand Rounds.

I’m also inspired by how Grand Rounds uses technology to make both patients’ and providers’ lives better—I believe technology will help our country build a sustainable model for delivering excellent healthcare for all.

What are you most excited about in your new role?

Nothing motivates me more than helping patients. My hope as Chief Medical Officer is to make a measurable impact on the more than 4.2 million lives that we currently serve and extend that coverage to new lives as well. I think it’s important that we keep patients at the center of everything we do, especially as we grow and scale.

What do you think the unique opportunities and challenges are for clinicians like yourself who have gone from clinical practice to high-growth healthcare companies?

One of the biggest challenges of transitioning from serving patients, one-on-one, on a daily basis to focusing on how we make an impact on a larger scale for populations, is maintaining that sense of connectedness to patients. It is critical to remember that behind each “data point” is a real person and often a family that loves that person very much. Since we do so much direct clinical care here at Grand Rounds and because we share our patient stories regularly with all of our teams, I’m confident we can continue to maintain that real patient empathy and patient-centeredness even as we grow and scale.

How did you get started in healthcare?

I didn’t know I was going to be doctor—I thought I was going to major in German and English when I went to college. But I’ve always loved science and as I grew in college, I realized I truly liked working with people. Medicine was a way to combine my love of science and discovery with work that was intricately connected to other people. During third year of medical school, I knew I made the right career decision—I went home happy every day that I could make a patient better. This is what drew me to medicine and what has kept me in for so long. There’s nothing like the doctor-patient relationship, and it’s something that I feel extremely fortunate to be a part of.

If you could change one thing in healthcare today, what would it be?

There is a lot we have to change in healthcare in order to get the value out of how much we pay for it. The one thing that I struggle with the most in healthcare is how much hassle we put our patients through when they are already struggling with what may be the worst thing they have ever experienced in their lives. Despite providers with the best of intentions, our patients often suffer trying to navigate the complex, non-intuitive, and expensive system. We’re sadly part of a system that does not enable us to help patients to the best of our abilities and does not attain the best care for all our patients. This leads to poor population level health outcomes. If we can get healthcare back to being about healthcare, we can make a huge difference.

What are you most passionate about outside of the office?

I’m most passionate about my family. Everyone from my parents, brother and sister-in-law, in-laws, my husband and children and our newest addition, our dog Apollo.

If you could have one superpower, what would it be?

I think this is because I’m a working mom and doctor, but I would love to be able to snap my fingers and have things organized, whether it’s my inbox, house, or desk. I would also love the ability to reduce suffering to a significant extent—I think that is the magical power we all wish we had as providers of care.

Read more “Meet Grand Rounds” posts here.