Be trustworthy, have patience, work hard, be truthful.
Known as a compassionate and caring physician, Dr. Himachal Veligandla has specialized in cardiovascular disease for more than 35 years. He is board certified in two fields of medicine, cardiovascular disease and internal medicine.
Dr. Veligandla had his early medical training in India before relocating to the United States. In 1990, he earned his master’s in Research and Biology. He practiced his externship at the VA medical center in Fargo, North Dakota. He continued to his internship at the University of Fargo, North Dakota. He was made an offer to attend Creighton North Dakota for two years for an internal medicine residency. He proceeded with his cardiology fellowship from 2001-2004. There was an International cardiologist fellowship program that he chose to attend at Mercy Hospital in Des Moines, Iowa for the following year. When he completed this fellowship, he was offered a position at St. Anthony’s Medical Center in Saint Louis, Missouri from 2005 through 2006.
Dr. Veligandla and his wife are both doctors of Cardiology. Dr. Himachal Veligandla became the Director of ICU at Highland Regional Medical Center in Prestonsburg, Kentucky from 2014 to 2017. The Stuart Group owned and operated this facility. In October of 2017, they made a request for Dr. Veligandla to start a rural cardiology clinic at Northside Medical Center in Youngstown, Ohio. The doctor took on the challenge, but by the same time the following year, The Stuart Group experienced financial difficulty and the Northside facility was closed down.
Dr. Himachal Veligandla is currently evaluating new options to continuing practicing cardiology with a new organization. He lives in Florence, Kentucky.
Where did the idea for becoming an internal medicine doctor come from?
When I was a young child, my mother was rushed to the hospital with a heart attack. I was at the hospital with my sisters. What stood out to me were all of these people in white coats and I noticed that they were different than the other people working there. I asked my sister who they were and she told me that they were medical students. I told her that I would like to do what they do. My sister told me I cannot be a doctor if I remained an average student. She said I would have to be at least one of the top students in the school. I would have to have grades that were in the top 85% or higher. If I could not become a top student, I would not be accepted to medical school. From that day on, my grades accelerated. I was accepted to medical school. Another reason why I wanted to become a cardiologist is that I lost several of my family members to heart problems. There are no facilities specifically for heart patients in India. I wanted to heal people.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I am up at 5 every morning. I exercise first, and I am off to the hospital. I have my coffee. By 7 a.m., I am checking on my ICU patients. They may have an echocardiogram or a stress test. We address all issues. At 10:30 I am at my office seeing patients until 4:30-5:00. I see 15 to 20 patients per day. After I finish with patients for the day, I finish my dictations. My manager is my wife and my administrator for the office. We will close the office for the day. My wife will go home to make dinner. I will go back to the hospital to check patients I saw during the day or new patients who may have been admitted. My day usually ends at 8:30-9:00.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I bring ideas to life by first studying and researching. Many times, I go to educational conferences. I discuss the ideas with trusted professionals, then I bring the ideas to life.
What’s one trend that excites you?
What excites me is the happiness of the patients and the families. What excites me is saving the life of a person who has just had a heart attack and seeing them leave the hospital after three days and go home to their families. There is no better feeling.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I have a very good work ethic. I work very hard. I make sure that I spend all the time that I need to with my patients. But I also make sure to make the time for the people who share our lives. I make time for family and friends.
What advice would you give your younger self?
I would tell the younger Himachal Veligandla to be happy in your life. Do the kind of work that makes you happy. Make sure you make the time for your patients as well as your family. Have a good balance between work and family.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Where there is a will, there is a way. Find a way to help people. You may meet difficult situations that may require you to think outside the box. You have to give your best effort to be able to help people.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Be trustworthy, have patience, work hard, be truthful. Be humble. Be considerate of other people’s circumstances.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
There have been times when I have gotten calls from the patient’s family. They call me at one o’clock in the morning. They let me know that there is something wrong with my patient. Many times, the hospital will not call to let me know. We are not gods, but be humble, work hard. When you are a doctor, be sincere. And be there when you can. I have had 7,000 patients in the last four years.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
There are a lot of times that I do not charge patients. I am not a good businessman. I could never have a business. I sometimes cannot say no.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Start simple, start with something that you know. Check out all of the angles. Have an exit plan. Don’t spend more than you can afford.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
One of my family’s houses burned down. All of us were contributing. Everyone was asked to donate $100 to the family to help them to get a new start. I just gave her an envelope full of what I thought I could afford. It made me happy to help so much more than others could. I could not replace their house, but it gave me satisfaction to be able to do what I could do to help. I enjoy giving to children for school programs or families.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
I usually use the JACC web site. It is an online website it is the Journal of American College of Cardiology. It addresses many issues and it informs you about new research. It improves my knowledge.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
“The Pursuit of Happyness” by Chris Gardener. It was about a homeless guy who followed his dream and found happiness. He was never disappointed, and he was very positive. It was inspiring for me. If you’re not happy, you cannot achieve anything in your life.
What is your favorite quote?
Life is short, be happy. It is simple but true. I say this to my family as well as my patients.
• Be positive and keep achieving until you die
• Always be nice, friendly to others
• Be humble, be sincere
• Work hard
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.