Born in New Delhi, India, Dr. Gaurav Alreja, with a distinct love for numbers and mathematics, grew up wanting to become an engineer. Luckily enough for his patients at Northwest Indiana Nephrology, Dr. Alreja ultimately decided to pursue his medical degree, and he’s now enjoying life in the region and working in renal care to make those same patients’ lives better.
Dr. Alreja entered medical school at age 17, graduated when he was 21, and finished up his mandatory internship in India when he was just 22 years old.
“I worked for a year or so in India, and it was busy institute there in New Delhi,” Alreja said. “The institute is called A.I.I.M.S. (All India Institutes of Medical Sciences), and it’s very famous. That’s where I met different physicians who were moving on to the U.S. and they, sort of, inspired me to come to the U.S. at that time.”
In 2004, Alreja moved to the United States where he studied for a year under the Masters in Public Health program at East Tennessee State University. Then, in 2005, he changed course and decided to pursue a residency in internal medicine at Seton Hall University. Alreja pursued that until 2008 and from 2008 to 2014 he decided to work in hospital medicine.
After his wife decided to take an opportunity that was presented to her through the University of Chicago, Alreja moved to the Chicagoland region. After another year of hospital medicine in 2016, Alreja decided to go back to nephrology. When he was a hospitalist initially, Alreja had his eyes on three areas in which he would eventually specialize - nephrology, cardiology and critical care.
“When I was doing my hospital medicine, the head of the program steered me towards nephrology,” Alreja said. “I was impressed by how he was managing his patients and his overall care. So, he was an effective mentor, and I never looked back after that time.”
“Most of the patients who are receiving nephrology care are a little disadvantaged generally, and a large percentage are from a poor socioeconomic status and background,” he said. “For me, there was an overall attraction towards getting to work with the disadvantaged.”
Another area of attraction for Alreja was the idea of getting to work with the overall health of a patient in mind, which is necessary for patients on dialysis.
“Nephrology physicians try to take an overall care of the patients by looking at systems, and they’re not just looking at doing this procedure or that procedure,” Alreja described. “Nephrology is looking at the overall care of the patient and that drove me towards that field. Nephrology has a lot to do with numbers, and I was very good in mathematics growing up. Maybe I didn’t realize it, but you have an inclination towards it and that could’ve been the driving force as well.”
Post-fellowship, Northwest Indiana Nephrology is Alreja’s first job in the field, and his experience has been a positive one. Alreja also works at both Methodist Hospitals in Lake County and, overall, he’s enjoying the chance to treat the region’s patients.
“The experiences at both Methodist Hospitals has been excellent,” he said. “Most of the staff, especially the nursing staff, has been tremendously helpful in managing the care of the patients, and they’re always available. I feel that overall, in this area these are some of the best hospitals. It’s still early days for me, but I’m very impressed with the collegiality of the staff that I’ve worked with.”
“Northwest Indiana Nephrology, I think, is a very impressive group,” Alreja said of his time so far with the renal care provider. “They have a huge number of patients. If you see the overall number of patients that any nephrology group sees in this region, they see the maximum number of patients. The biggest reason for that attribute is that they provide very quick and excellent care with good, overall follow up.”
Being an expanding, physician-driven company whose ultimate goal is to provide preeminent care to patients is another factor that attracted Alreja to Northwest Indiana Nephrology.
“That was one of the attractions that brought me (to NWI Nephrology),” Alreja said of the company's growth. “Not just on the clinical side but the overall opening of new dialysis centers and expanding.”
“The overall goal is to provide the best care possible to the patient without having all the bureaucracy that might be associated with some bigger companies. The group has no limitations, and what we need as a physician to provide excellent care is available. The group has never put any limitations on the resources that need to be provided to do our job effectively and efficiently.”
Alreja has also enjoyed his time in the region so far, saying “I’ve been very impressed and very happy. The general population and the patients have been very polite. It’s been a very humbling experience for me, and I’m very happy to spend the next 30 years of my life in this area.”
To find out more about Dr. Guarav Alreja and the phenomenal staff at Northwest Indiana Nephrology, visit: https://www.nwinephrology.com/
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