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Life as a Medic

Dr Ajitpal Singh Dhaliwal: The Full time Hospitalist and Full time CEO

Reading Time: 4 minutes

I’m proud to say that I grew up poor. Raised in a basement with my grandparents walking my sisters and I to school. After that, they had seven more grandchildren to walk and drop off. Both my parents wanted to be doctors and of course, leaving a country in poverty to go the promise land and to continue to live in poverty, takes bravery. That’s sarcasm folks. Canada is the best.

My name is Ajitpal Singh Dhaliwal and I’m a Hospitalist and CEO of Momentum Healthcare Staffing. Prior to that, Associate Medicate Director of a $120 million company on Wall Street.

This is my Story.

I talk too much. Clearly. Becoming an attorney was extremely conducive to my ridiculous, opinionated and loud personality. So, I did… not. I went to The Royal College of Surgeons, and then did my residency at Mount Sinai in New York City. I then became an Academic Attending at NYU and at Brooklyn Hospital Center. And then, in case you were wondering, I felt like I plateaued and was stagnant. No one at 28 years old, or at any age, should feel stuck.

So, I started a company.

I reached out to the first person who gave me a job out of residency. “Hey, want to start a company together?”.

Here we are. I’d rather go through residency and be a cog in a wheel than start a company from scratch. However, I found the perfect partner. No one just gets up and leaves equity to make their own start up. Did I mention that I’m crazy?

Fast forward. I’m a full time hospitalist and full time CEO. Just like medicine has taught us – follow the process. Step by step. I wake up at 6am, have breakfast and by 6.55; I’m at the hospital ready to take signout from the nocturnist. Get the signout, round with the PAs, and then get ready for my 11 am company conference call. So today, we have job openings in critical care and psychiatry. Jeremy, Donovan and Anne are going to spend all day calling doctors in these specialties. Johnny and I have a call later with a large hospital system at 3 pm. And just like every other day, I get paged and I have to say bye and Johnny continues to run the call.

I regroup with Johnny at 1pm every day. He lets me know what’s been going on. From accounting, billing, revenue, percentage of margin, bowel movements and so on. All I need to say is this – “you ready?”.

Every week, for an hour, we turn our phones to silent and we have ‘think tank hour’. “I want to collaborate AI with staffing – I can talk to this person”. “Well, I think making an app for doctors will make their assignment more seamless”. “Why an app?”. “Why not?”. This goes far past an hour.

I work 12 hour shifts. I make sure I am the best doctor I can be. Army slogan quasi intended. I’ve won awards; I’ve also been the New Yorker of the Month. It’s not that I’m cool, I’m actually just hungry. I was born to two people who had no comprehension of what hurdles were. They f***’in ran through them. So, take my aura with a grain of salt. I am a product of two badasses.

To reiterate one sentiment, I want to quote the greatest poem. Desiderata. What serenated with me the most was this – ‘strive to be happy’. So I did exactly that. I became a physician.

Momentum allows me to use different parts of my brain. I can be creative, artistic and of course, loud and obnoxious. Practicing medicine allows me to be empathetic, selfless and nostalgic. Did I mention I had a brain hemorrhage when I was 21? Don’t worry, I’m still cute.

I know Helen wants me to give some readers advice, so here you have it.

The world and everyone in it, is amazing. Regardless of religion, creed or race, you will meet people that will inspire you. I’m a Sikh and my best friend is Muslim. And Jewish. And Hindu. And Athiest. And Mormon. Did I leave anyone out? Oh, and Catholic.

Be open to that. Shit will transpire and shit will prevail.

It’s okay to be scared – that’s where bravery comes from.

Story adjourned.

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