Dr. Nadia Nalini is a Hematology and Oncology Specialist at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, Pennsylvania. In a recent interview with kaiteurnewsonline.com, Dr. Nalini talked about her journey from her early years in Guyana to a well sought after Cancer Specialist in the United States. Here are a few excerpts of her story…
Delving into the fields of Hematology and Oncology has allowed Nadia to save many lives over the years, essentially allowing her to realise what she believes is her destined calling. You see, since she was but a young girl, Nadia knew she wanted to become a doctor. It might have had something to do with the nudge she got from her mother, but for sure she remembers looking up to her family’s physician back in the day with such fondness that she somehow knew she had to follow the path of medicine.
Reflecting on her young days recently, Nadia remembers her father, Allan Ramdin, being a headmaster at one school and her mother, Rachel Ramdin, the deputy headmistress at another. However, when she started attending primary school, both her parents were teaching at the same school – Novar Primary at Mahaicony, East Coast Demerara.
Although she was born into a family of educators, Nadia, the second of three girls born to her parents, from an early age gravitated to medicine.
“I always wanted to be a doctor and my mom always encouraged me to become a doctor if that was my choice. But the person who really inspired me was Dr. Harricharran,” Nadia divulged. Dr. Harricharran, Nadia recalled, had a clinic at Mahaicony and, according to her, “he was just the kindest person I have ever met. He was a really good family practice doctor. He took such good care of my family…from childbirth to a cold or fever, he took care of the family, and he always had such a wonderful personality”.
According to Nadia, “he inspired me to say from an early age ‘hey, this is really what I want to do’.” Indeed, Dr. Harricharran was a professional the Ramdins didn’t mind their young daughter emulating.
After completing secondary school here, Nadia migrated with her family to the United States. Understandably when she attended City University of New York – Brooklyn College, she majored in Biology.
Specialising in Hematology/Oncology, Nadia first started practicing in Fort Lauderdale, Florida but would only remain there for three years. “I left because there were too many hurricanes and I missed by family back in New York,” she said. Moreover, Nadia ended up accepting a place at the Harold Alfond Center for Cancer Care in Augusta, Maine, where she offered her expertise in Oncology. She also worked as a Hematologist at Pen Bay Medical Center in Rockport, also in Maine.
There have been many success stories over the years, but the one that resonates the most with Nadia to date, is the case of Melissa Williams – a Guyanese woman who was having a difficult time accessing health care for her infirmity. Williams, according to Nadia, was diagnosed with a brain tumour. At the time Nadia was visiting Guyana and was able to make swift moves to help Williams travel to the United States to have a major surgery done to remove the tumour. “It wasn’t cancerous, but she was at death’s door…if she hadn’t accessed treatment she would have been dead,” Nadia said as she recalled how Williams made a full recovery.
To continue her devotion to areas such as Oncology that have been helping to improve the delivery of patient care, Nadia said that last year she jumped at the opportunity to join the staff at Geisinger Medical Center. “Oncology is a field that is expanding rapidly, there is always new treatment now, and we are making great inroads…that is one of the reasons I like to practice at Geisinger, because of the latest technology they have, the great support staff and very bright physicians with specialities, that are able to come together, and we are able to give patients the best chance at survival,” Nadia informed.
She added, “It makes me happy to say to people who come in with cancer and say they don’t know what to do, ‘hey, I can treat you and I can help you survive’.”
Geisinger is described as an integrated health services organisation widely recognised for its innovative use of electronic health record and the development of innovative care delivery models presented by professionals who combine world-class services with a human touch.