Sujata Prasad is originally from the State of Punjab in India. Raised by a father who was a civil engineer and a mother who was an OBGYN medical doctor, Sujata grew up in a very disciplined environment where education was the primary focus.
After years of study, Sujata earned a veterinary MD from a well-respected post-secondary institution in Punjab’s largest and capital city, Ludhiana. Upon graduating, the newly minted Dr. Prasad completed a residency with a specialization in veterinary surgery in small animals, specifically canines, in Calcutta, West Bengal. Once she had completed her education, Sujata began to work with a senior veterinary surgeon in Calcutta, performing over 2000 surgeries during her tenure there. After six months of practicing veterinary surgery, Dr. Prasad then moved to the United States, where she started studying for a degree as an advanced nurse practitioner. This entailed pursuing a Master’s in Public Health Administration from Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey, followed by an accelerated program for Advanced Nurse Practitioners, among other steps. Dr. Prasad currently works alongside medical doctors as a primary practitioner in outpatient and inpatient clinics.
Now a resident of Rutherford, New Jersey, when not working, Dr. Sujata Prasad likes to volunteer at a local community center as a mentor in an education program of prenatal care for teenage pregnant women. Sujata also volunteers at her community’s temple, conducting wellness exams for the local geriatric population by performing blood pressure checks, diabetes screenings, and general physical check-ups. She also enjoys hiking, biking, yoga, painting, photography, and other outdoor activities.
Where did the idea for your career come from?
Before coming to this country, I was in the medical field. Even though it was not related to caring for human beings, the ideas and concepts were the same. As a veterinary surgeon, I worked with a lot of canines, and I was happy to help and see how happy the families were to get their beloved pets back healed and healthy. I got a lot of genuine appreciation from dog owners because of that, and that was very gratifying. When I came to the United States, I was amazed by how advanced the nursing and medical field was, and in order to continue my previous career in medicine, I decided to become a Nurse Practitioner. I changed my program from the Public Health Administration, which I was pursuing in Fairleigh Dickinson University, to the Nurse Practitioner Program. I have always had a compassionate nature and a desire to help people, mostly because I come from a family of physicians. They are very dedicated people and I observed them helping people from an early age. That, alongside some other important factors, motivated me to return to the medical field. In the United States, there are so many wonderful programs for people who have been educated in foreign countries that allow them to resume their careers through accelerated programs. I took the initiative and applied for one of these accelerated programs meant for advanced nurse practitioners. Once I was admitted, I was able to use my credentials from my previous degrees. In that way, I was able to complete the program and start living my dream job in the healthcare sector.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
At work, I hit the ground running. There’s rarely a slow day in the healthcare setting, especially the in-patient setting. My day starts with coming into the office, then I check the charts of my patients, get updates from the nightshift, and address any emergencies or unexpected reports from my staff and nurses. After that, I start making my rounds. During that time, I see the nurses on the floor and greet them, ask if there’s anything going on, and see if they need any kind of help from providers or with their orders. Sometimes I talk with families if a lab result is abnormal. Then I finish my rounds, go back to the office and issue any orders that are needed for patient care and complete documentation.
How do you bring ideas to life?
By divergent thinking. As an unconventional thinker, I focus my attention closely and step back and gain a better perspective with fresh eyes. My thinking is based not only on my own opinions, but also taking into account the opinions of the professionals around me. After the appropriate consultations, I figure out how to make both predictable and unpredictable things work.
What’s one trend that excites you?
I’m a big believer in preventative medicine and there are so many trends going on, especially in advanced medicine. For example, a digital artificial intelligence designed for preventative care can predict when and with whom an illness is likely to happen by analyzing the data that is put into it via a website. For the sake of argument, someone who overuses their wrist at work may be at risk for carpal tunnel syndrome, and the AI can learn that through the data input to the website and then, working in conjunction with human medical professionals, figure out how to prevent it before it happens.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I always aspire to make more progress, both professionally and personally and push for it. I always encourage myself to find the elusiveness of breakthrough alternatives and bring those ideas practically.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Never be afraid of failing because failure is a stepping stone to success. Stay positive and keep a good attitude. take the steps necessary to achieve your goals.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
In a general sense, I would say that progress and success are very important to fostering positive change and new ideas, and because of that, risk-taking is important. However, many people don’t want to take risks because they’re afraid of change.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Take time to confirm your actions with yourself before you take them. When you do that and you’re able to verify your own analysis with a sober second round of thinking, take another moment to think about what is the human way to handle this particular issue, and you’ll find the best solution to your problem.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
The key point for success in any career is believing in yourself. Think creatively and dream big. Aspire to greatness and believe it can be attained. Do what you do better and do more of what you do. Set high standards in everything you do.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
When I was younger, I was very naïve and made many poor decisions. I was surrounded by very negative, unmotivated energy, and that drained me of my positive energy. I did not realize it while it was happening, so nothing good came from being in that environment. The way I was able to overcome it was by removing myself from that harmful atmosphere.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
There are a lot of single people who live by themselves and eat alone. I have an idea to open a restaurant for single people where they can go and mingle with other single people and enjoy a meal together in a safe and welcoming environment.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I bought a gadget which is a wireless air pump. It puts air into car tires. Once the tire reaches the set PSI, it shuts off automatically, ensuring it doesn’t over-inflate or under-inflate. It also serves as a portable power bank and flashlight.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
Most of my work life is dealing with people’s illnesses and diseases, looking for solutions, and using advanced medical equipment to execute those solutions. Many times, I browse MedlinePlus and the Mayo Clinic website. I also use UpToDate which is a really good website for medical professionals. When I browse and search for solutions, the website will give me current information of any new or advanced medicine treatments, as well as any pertinent up-to-date information. This helps me with my patients a great deal.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Designing Your Life by Bill Burnett has changed my perspective on life. I would recommend it because it gives solutions to simple life problems and talks about how adopting what he calls ‘design thinking’ works to create a more meaningful and fulfilling life.
What is your favorite quote?
“What wisdom can you find that is greater than kindness?” It’s a quote by a famous French philosopher named Jean-Jacques Rousseau.
- Think progressively.
- Apply Be-Human rule in dealing with other people.
- Confirm every action with yourself before taking it.
- Never be afraid of failing. Failing is a necessary stepping stone to success.
- By believing in yourself and working hard to attain your goals, you can achieve anything.
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.