DR. SAI GUDURU,
EAVES FAMILY DENTAL, NEW YORK
This is the motto I was raised on by my awesome family. The greater good in this is once everyone around you embodies the true heart of being a leader, we do not need one to guide us through the path of righteousness. We all possess qualities of a great leader within us but the person who sees the promise of success is the one who can connect the dots through self-realization. For me, it is clearly support from my genetic family and my work family at NADG for whom I am forever grateful to from the bottom of my heart!
Like many middle-class families in India where I was born and raised, my mother and father encouraged their children to become doctors. They had observed the respect medical professionals receive and the kind of service they provide for those in need. Their guidance planted the seed in me a young age to pursue a career in medicine. After my senior year of high school, every student took a three-hour, written exam that largely determined – depending on your score – whether you were destined for a career as a medical professional. My grades earned me a spot in dental school and dentistry ultimately became my passion.
My quest to utilize technology in learning advanced dentistry and encouragement from my godfather led me to the United States where I would attend Boston University, graduating with high honors at the top of my class.
Teamwork means more work done.
Wherever we are in life the mantra is the same, there is no substitution for hard work. What you are does not make you special – it is always who you are! To me the answer to this is simple but requires a wholehearted commitment. I am a person who cares – whether it is a patient in the chair with pain, a team member going through hard times, or a family member that needs me – I give everything I can to be supportive. I am a general dentist performing comprehensive dentistry to best of my ability.
As I started writing this paragraph, I asked myself: “What is the happiest moment of my life?” Many memories came to mind and it made me realize that happiness is not a moment, it’s a journey. At the end of the day what makes me most happy is the smile on a patient’s face, the gratification we receive as clinicians, how we turned a challenging situation into healthy relationship. When a new patient comes to our office and tells us how they were referred by a family or friend because we had provided exceptional care, that gives me the greatest satisfaction as a dentist.
I am blessed with a wonderful wife, Phani, and our son, Ram. Phani and I have supported many of our family members with their education and feel proud of their successes. No matter how busy we are with work and life, many of my family members come together at least once every couple of months to spend time together. I am a great cook, which most people outside our family do not know. Usually I am the person cooking for these family gatherings. I am not a big vacation guy, so cooking and spending time with family are my biggest revitalizers. My proudest possession is always my family.
Another mother figure I adore dearly is Mother Teresa. I had the pleasure of meeting her and shaking her hand as a 12-year-old boy during her visit to our town in India where I grew up. The core meaning of her life study which applies to all of us is “Caring.” It can be caring for your family, a friend, a co-worker, a patient, or even your place of work. Once we start caring and telling ourselves that this is our job, everything will fall in place and suddenly life’s hurdles seem smaller.
I am Indian, as I’ve stated, and moved to the United States in 2005. I have worked and lived with people from different ethnic, cultural, and socio-economic backgrounds. I continue to enjoy my relationships with all of them. Diversity has become such a challenging conversation these days. Here’s my two cents: Please treat others in the way you would like to be treated and the world around you will look like a far more beautiful place!
There is no match for a mother’s love.
My all-time favorite memory is filled with mixed emotions. Holding our son, Ram, the day he was born brought tears of joy. But within seconds he started turning blue and neonatal nurses pulled him away and rushed him to NICU. He aspirated meconium and amniotic fluid and there was serious tension and nervousness on the faces of the doctors and nurses. It took hours to get my son stabilized. I was not allowed to see him during this time as I anxiously waited at the NICU door. Phani had gone through more than 50 hours of labor and she was exhausted. Eventually, we were able to see Ram. He was in a glass chamber with a ventilator and multiple wires and electrode pads attached to him. My tears of joy were now unstoppable tears of sorrow.
Even though the doctor in me knew things would be fine, the emotional father in me could not hold it together. I spent the next eight hours next to him, holding him through the access in the glass chamber. When I returned to our room, Phani was eagerly waiting to see Ram and ordered me to make her see him. I requested a wheelchair because she was unable to walk, and we went to the NICU. She drew closer to Ram and laid her hand on his side and called him by his name. He reacted as if he already knew her touch. It was such a wonderful, reassuring moment. But, to be honest, for a second, I felt jealous. I had been sitting next to this kid all day in tears with no reaction from him and the moment his mom walks in all was good. My day had every emotion one could experience but the bottom line was: “There is no match for a mother’s love.” I figure, God cannot always be in all places, which is why he created mothers!
In Mother Teresa’s own words, “Go home and love your family, this is what brings peace at the end of the day!”
My name is Sai Guduru. I am a dentist at Eaves Family Dental, Penn Yan, NY. This is my story.