Photos Cameron Flaisch
Most people consider themselves quite lucky if they possess one obvious, outstanding talent. Being blessed with two such abilities might seem like too much to reasonably expect. But what about a young lady growing up in New Delhi, India, having a flair for science and excelling in such different areas as singing, literary debate, general academics, classical Indian dance, and yoga? With that kind of diversity in natural gifts, aptitudes, and interests, it is understandable that she went on to receive her medical degree, complete her residency, and become Dr. Anandita Arora.
As a high school sophomore, her fascination with biology—what made the human body function as it did—helped her decide to pursue medicine as a vocation. Dr. Arora says, “My curiosity gravitated me towards biology. I wanted to learn, be involved with people, and be aware of everything that is our being.”
In the summer of 2021, Dr. Arora joined Harbin Clinic Family Medicine in Rome, Georgia, bringing with her a wide range of expertise and a deep commitment to providing the most comprehensive and thorough care to her patients. Dr. Arora, however, is not the only physician in the family. She says, “My husband, Dr. Harsha Banavasi, is a pulmonologist [treats the lungs, breathing issues]. He joined Harbin before I did. Rome gives us the perfect place to raise our daughter together; it’s very family-friendly.”
A passion for primary care
Serving patients at Harbin Clinic allows Dr. Arora to practice internal medicine by focusing on three major elements of care: physiology, pathology, and pharmacology. For her, the human connection is what’s most important. Being a primary care physician affords her a place on the front lines of helping patients, making her a sort of first responder when they have medical concerns.
Dr. Arora says, “The thing that inspired me most to become a doctor was my curiosity about the human body. I wanted to know if anything was abnormal and how to fix it. If I’m the one who knows how to fix things, I want to be the one who helps them do that. Internal medicine gives me a gateway where I meet the patients first when they have a problem. If I can fix that, I do that, or I find people for them who can help them. And then they come back, so it’s a whole circle of healthcare that is completed.”
To Dr. Arora, primary care is not about transactional medicine and impersonal treatment. Rather, it requires the kind of multi-sided approach that serves her patients best, giving them the comfort of knowing they are in excellent hands. She also uses creative approaches to care, such as a teach-back method. That is, before someone leaves her office, she makes sure that her patient can reiterate back to her all they have learned about their diagnosis and care. She knows that if they can explain it to her satisfaction, then they truly understand it.
It was this desire to be a part of more than a snapshot of a patient’s life that also led her to a fellowship in geriatric medicine at Wayne State University School of Medicine at the Detroit Medical Center. Because populations now live longer, Dr. Arora wanted to be prepared to care for older populations and future generations.
Under an umbrella of caring
A common theme among Harbin Clinic’s physicians is their praise for the seamless cooperation and synergies between various departments and partners of the clinic, everyone helping everyone else. Dr. Arora agrees wholeheartedly with the sentiment. She says, “The thing I like best about Harbin Clinic is that it’s a multi-specialty group. For my patients, being a primary care physician, I do have to refer to a lot of specialists, but I don’t have to look any further than our partners; everyone I need I can find within Harbin Clinic. It allows my patients to get that comprehensive all-around care under the same umbrella.”
Dr. Arora finds great confidence and satisfaction in doing the detective work of diagnosing patients’ medical issues, knowing that she has the full scope of the skill and experience of Harbin Clinic’s specialists behind her. She says, “As a physician, one of the best days is when a patient comes in with lots of problems and they don’t know what’s going on—but they know something’s going on—and then I’m able to piece together a diagnosis and help them out. And the follow-up, when I see an improvement, that’s the best thing.”