What’s one thing Shivani Gupta, DO, hopes to fulfill on her bucket list? Traveling the 7 continents! To date, she’s made it to 3 (North America, Asia and Europe), with Bali, Indonesia, one of her favorite trips. She loves exploring diverse cultures, tasting their popular dishes and getting a glimpse into worlds so different from her own.
But while Dr. Gupta is passionate about reaching all corners of the globe, she’s most excited about her latest adventure here as Akron Children’s newest director of our Pediatric Neurogastroenterology and Motility Program. In her new role, she hopes to develop a premier center to diagnose and treat children and teens with complicated diseases that cause a disordered interaction between the nervous and digestive systems. Her goal is to create dedicated clinics to run motility testing on patients with severe symptoms, such as constipation, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, who have not responded well to standard treatments.
The neurogastroenterology field is so small and finding physicians who specialize in it can be difficult, but Dr. Gupta is working hard to change that in northeast Ohio. In fact, it’s the reason she chose this area of expertise: to help this small patient population finally find relief so they can get back to their childhood adventures.
Why did you choose to come to Akron Children’s Hospital?
I chose to come to Akron Children’s because of the organization’s culture and comradery. I appreciate how well providers between different specialties work together to take the best care of their patients. I was also told by many people how much I would love working here!
Describe your role at Akron Children’s and what you hope to accomplish.
I am the director of Akron Children’s Pediatric Neurogastroenterology and Motility Program. Over the next few years, I hope to build and develop this department. We will have dedicated clinics and the ability to run motility testing on our patients with severe symptoms of constipation, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, and more, that have not responded well to standard treatments. This field is small, so the availability of physicians who specialize in it can be difficult to find, and I hope to improve that in northeast Ohio.
I will also work as a general gastroenterologist.
What is your area of expertise and why did you choose it?
My area of expertise is neurogastroenterology and motility disorders. I chose it because it gives me an extra skillset to treat patients who have severe symptoms and allows me to help those who have been suffering for an extended period. I also enjoy the advanced procedures!
When did you decide to become a provider and why?
I have wanted to be a pediatrician for as long as I can remember. In high school and college, I volunteered in children’s hospitals and I always thoroughly enjoyed it. For some reason, I knew that was going to be my path.
What impression do you hope to leave with your patients each day?
I hope my patients see me as kind, caring and empathetic, as well as an approachable physician who truly cares about them.
What unique or different skills do you have that help you practice medicine?
I completed a second fellowship to gain skills in additional procedures and knowledge for complicated patients.
On the other hand, I have been on the patient side of medicine several times, so I understand what it is like to be a patient and a worried parent. I have been able to empathize with my patients in ways I couldn’t before.
How do you deal with the emotional impact of being a provider?
One of the best coping mechanisms for me is spending time with my family and removing my mind from the medical world to just be a mom. I also decompress by working out or watching TV. I love to travel whenever I can get the time to feel refreshed.
What are you most looking forward to?
I am looking forward to establishing myself as a physician at Akron Children’s. I am eager to build a premier motility center at Akron Children’s, after many years of training and developing genuine relationships with my patients and colleagues.
Where did you grow up?
I was born in Syracuse, New York, but we moved to Charleston, South Carolina, soon after and I lived there until I finished high school.
Who makes up your family, including pets and their names?
My family includes my husband, Vishnu. We have twin boys, Yuvi and Veer, and our fur baby is a Border Collie/Australian Shepherd mix named Sadie.
What’s one thing on your bucket list?
I hope to travel to each continent. I have been to 3 of the 7 so far: North America, Asia and Europe.
What do you do when you aren’t working?
I enjoy spending time with my family, cooking, watching TV and working out (cardio or hot yoga). I try to spend as much time outside as possible, weather permitting.
What question would you most like to know the answer to?
Why do bad things happen to good people?