We had the good fortune of connecting with Smita Malhotra, MD and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Smita, can you tell us more about your background and the role it’s played in shaping who you are today?
I’m a first generation immigrant to the United States at the age of 12. What I learned in childhood gave me a perspective on life that has been my greatest strength. It was in that journey that I became the person I am today. I saw my parents start over to build a new life and because of this, I was not afraid of reinventing myself. Because I saw ‘starting over’ as an opportunity and not something to be feared, I was able to build a brand and business and pivot in my career path. I also came from a country where speaking your mind could lead to persecution. When I came to the United States, I never took for granted the freedom of being able to use your voice for change. So sharing my story and experiences has become a large part of who I am.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’ve been a pediatrician for more than a decade. But it was later in my career when I went through the journey of infertility that I discovered the true art of medicine and found my voice. Through my own journey, I began to see that our bodies can make us sick…but so can our minds. What we believe about ourselves can impact our ability to heal. It is only through owning our minds that we can take charge of owning our health. In 2010, I discovered the work of Dr. Vincent Felitti who published a landmark study that showed how adverse childhood experiences can lead to poor health outcomes as adults. In other words, emotional trauma in childhood can lead to physical health ailments as adults. This study influenced my career path so much that I now work in screening children for adverse childhood experiences and also help families to build resilience through strengthening family relationships, mindfulness and meditation. What I love most about my career is that not only do I have the responsibility of protecting the life of a child, I have the opportunity of changing the life of an adult.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My shoutout is to my daughters who have taught me everything about what it means to be loved despite your imperfections.