Swaroop Pinto, MD, credits her father as her biggest inspiration to follow medicine. Growing up in Kuwait, she admired his strong work ethic, humility and patience as a nurse, and she dreamed of one day making a difference in the lives of her own patients, as well.
Today, as Akron Children’s newest pediatric pulmonology and sleep medicine physician, Dr. Pinto is honored to diagnose and treat children and teens with sleep disorders, including narcolepsy, insomnia, restless legs syndrome and obstructive sleep apnea. She specializes in treating kids with sleep-related breathing disorders, such as those on non-invasive mechanical ventilation or with chronic respiratory failure.
In her role, Dr. Pinto also serves as medical director of Akron Children’s Hospital Mahoning Valley’s first sleep laboratory. She looks forward to establishing and growing this service in Boardman to better serve her patients, who can now receive sleep studies in their own community.
If you ask Dr. Pinto, she’ll tell you the best part of her day is clinic time because that’s when she gets to do what she longs to do every day: help kids reach their maximum potential and improve their quality of life by treating their ailments. “Most of all, I enjoy seeing my patients smile, their flying kisses and hugs at the end of their visit,” she said. “That is the beauty of pediatrics, the joy of interacting with children.”
Why did you choose to come to Akron Children’s?
I came to Akron Children’s because it’s a patient-centered hospital, respects diversity and inclusion, and most of all, is a safe work environment for staff and patients. I look forward to the opportunity to advance my career in pediatric pulmonology and sleep medicine here at Akron Children’s.
Describe your role at Akron Children’s and what you hope to accomplish.
I am a pediatric pulmonology and sleep medicine physician at Akron Children’s Akron and Mahoning Valley campuses. I also serve as the medical director of Mahoning Valley’s sleep laboratory (an AASM accredited laboratory). I look forward to establishing the sleep laboratory and growing it over the next few years. This will help children and families get sleep studies in Mahoning Valley and avoid the long-distance travel to main campus.
What is your area of expertise and why did you choose it?
I specialize in sleep-related breathing disorders. I am fascinated with the physiology of breathing in sleep. My introduction to sleep medicine was at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, where I was a research fellow in sleep medicine. I was fortunate to be trained by Dr. Carole Marcus, a pioneer of pediatric sleep medicine and a world-renowned physician scientist.
What impression do you hope to leave with your patients each day?
I want my patients to feel safe and heard in my office. I also want them to know that they are a key player in decision making and that their comfort and safety is top priority.
What’s the best part of your day?
The best part of my day is clinic time because that’s when I get to do what I long to do every day: make a difference in children’s lives by helping them achieve their maximum potential and improving their quality of life by treating their ailments and guiding them to a healthy lifestyle. I also enjoy teaching medical students and other medical staff on my team.
How does your personality fit your role?
I am proud to offer my patients and colleagues honesty, friendliness and good listening skills.
What’s the most memorable thing that’s ever happened to you as a provider?
When I was a pediatric resident, a patient with end-stage ovarian cancer asked me to play chess with her every day until she passed. When I asked her, “Why chess?” and “Why me?”, she replied that she wanted to die knowing she played her favorite game with a kind, gentle friend. I will always remember that time I spent with her to make a difference in her day.
What would you most like to change about health care today?
I would like to improve the availability of health care for children and adults of every socio- economic status, irrespective of race, gender or religion.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Kuwait.
Who makes up your family, including pets and their names?
My family includes my husband, Glen, and me, along with my father and brother, his wife and family who live in Dubai. My mother (Theresa) passed away last year and always reminded me that practicing medicine was a privilege and gift from God, and that I should do it with humility and honesty.
What do you do when you aren’t working?
I love to travel, attend music concerts, college football and basketball games (I’m a huge Buckeyes fan!), and cook for family and friends.
What’s one thing about you that most people don’t know?
Most people don’t know that I love hip-hop and R&B music.
What’s the best compliment you ever received?
That’s a hard question, but if I had to choose, it would be when someone told me, “You have a calming voice.”
What are the top 3 things you want to accomplish in your life?
I hope to be remembered by my patients as a kind and wonderful doctor; to be the most loving aunt, sister, daughter and wife; and lastly, I hope to travel the world.