Dr. Arun Chhabra, a neurologist for UTMB Health, answers six questions.
Why did you choose your medical field?
I chose neurology because I enjoyed neurosciences and neuroanatomy, and I picked the field of stroke because of the high-paced nature of it and the need to make important decisions quickly. There’s also the need to think calmly and efficiently about a patient or case to determine lifesaving treatments. In addition, there are so many novel therapeutics available to us today to treat stroke that weren’t available 10 to 15 years ago, so it makes the field really exciting.
How do you get through a tough shift?
During a tough shift, I basically just keep powering through until the end, while always keeping in mind that I am helping people and making a difference, so it allows me to get through a long day quicker.
What do you do to relax when you are not at work?
I enjoy music, playing basketball and soccer, working out and spending time with my 1.5-year-old daughter. These things recharge my batteries and take my mind off work. Playing sports and definitely playing with my daughter has the ability to make me forget about difficulties I faced during the day, and seeing my daughter puts everything into perspective.
What can you tell us about a recent EMS-related case that was a success? Was there a medic who made a difference?
We recently had a case where the EMS provider called a pre-alert on a stroke patient, and because they did that, we were able to give them tPA and then a thrombectomy much sooner. As a result, the patient left the hospital able to walk and talk when they weren’t able to do that when they arrived.
What’s your favorite food?
I love Thai food. I grew up in the Thai culture as my parents were from Thailand and immigrated to the U.S. in the ’70s. I learned many Thai dishes from my mother, but my favorite one to cook is basil chicken
What’s something you want people to know about you?
Although I am new to this area, I have already had a commitment to improving the quality of its stroke care for the patients of our community.
I tend to be pretty serious about stroke care, especially when determining life-changing decisions for patients, but underneath I am a fun-loving person who enjoys spending time with my family and also improving the stroke care in the Southeast Houston area.