Nivedita Lakhera

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Nivedita Lakhera
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Born
New Delhi, India
NationalityAmerican
CitizenshipUnited States Of America
Alma materUniversity of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics..[1]
Occupation
  • MD
  • Internal Medicine
  • Physician
  • Author
  • Poet
  • Artist Key Note
  • Motivational Speaker
  • Digital Health Enthusiast
  • Social Justice Activist

Dr. Nivedita Lakhera MD, Internal Medicine, is an Indian-born American hospitalist in San Jose, California[2]. She sustained and survived a massive stroke at the age of 27, during the second year of her Internal Medicine residency. Along with the practice of Internal Medicine, she has published two books of poetry and has an upcoming third book called The Lifecurrency (2021).

She has written more than 4000 poems and prose and has created a massive body of artwork. She has published two poetry and art books- Pillow of Dreams (2017), and I am not a princess I am a complete fairytale (2019).

Early life

Dr Nivedita Lakhera, was born in New Delhi, India to Mrs Surendra Lakhera and Mr. Subhash Chandra Lakhera. In her interviews she frequently mentions her mother is the reason for being fearless and joyful in life, while her father is the reason for her passion towards science and literature, while both are responsible for instilling social justice as an important cause to work towards. While both are responsible for instilling social justice zest in her.[3]

Her father, Mr S. C. Lakhera ( Subhash Chandra Lakhera) worked as a scientist in the prestigious DRDO organisation in India and has received the Aatma Ram award from the President of India. The Atmaram Award|Atma Ram Award is an honor in India, which is given in memory of the Indian scientist, Atma Ram (scientist)|Atma Ram. It is conferred annually for an outstanding contribution in the field of scientific and technical literature and instrument development. The Atma Ram award is given by the Central Hindi Directorate, Central Hindi Directorate|Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India.

She has four siblings. She got married in April 2002 and moved to the USA in July 2002. She got divorced in May 2010.

Career

Medicine

Dr. Nivedita Lakhera, went to medical school when she was only 16 years old. She graduated from there in 2001. In her medical college talent show, she was bestowed upon the Kalathilakam, a prestigious award for winning awards in several competitions like dance, acting, speech, debate, poetry etc. She was passionate about internal medicine and cleared her competitive US medical licensing exams with 97 percentile and 98 percentile. She did her first year of post graduation from Good Samaritan Hospital, Baltimore and second and third year of residency from UIHC. She graduated in 2008 and became a board certified physician in her first attempt. She graduated under dean Dr Paul Rothman from UIHC, in 2008 who is now CEO of John Hopkins, Baltimore[4].

Dr. Nivedita Lakhera has over 16 years of clinical and academic experience as a hospitalist and internal medicine physician. She has held positions at various California and North Carolina healthcare systems, including Alamance Health Care, Moses Cone Health System, CRMC, and CEP America. She was also an assistant professor at Wake Forest Baptist Health and St. Mary Medical Center. Currently, Dr. Nivedita Lakhera is an inpatient hospitalist at Washington Hospital in Fremont, Kaiser Santa Rosa, and O'Connor Medical Center in California.

Published Works

In addition to her medical work, Dr. Nivedita Lakhera is an accomplished poet, artist, and author. Her first book, "Pillow of Dreams," released in October 2018, is an award-winning poetry and art book that remains one of the best-reviewed poetry books on Amazon. Her subsequent books, "I am not a Princess, I am a Complete Fairytale" and "The Life Currency," are included in the Peace and Justice syllabi of Wayne State University and Michigan State University. Notably, The Life Currency was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. Her forthcoming book, Building Better Brain—Building Better Life, explores using neuroscience, neuroplasticity, nutrition, and lifestyle medicine to enhance overall well-being.

She is a keynote speaker and was going to appear at Webit Summit as one of the speakers, which got cancelled because of COVID.

Front line Health Care Worker during COVID-19

During the time of the COVID pandemic, she campaigned against misinformation and was advocating for masking, social distancing[5]. Early on, she filed a nationwide petition for early lockdown to contain the pandemic, which likely contributed to statewide lockdown in the state of California[6].

She appeared on NBC to bring attention to scarcity of resources and the realities of frontline workers during COVID Pandemic[7]. She was the first of few doctors who raised concerns about obesity being linked to the poor outcomes in COVID early on[8]. She was against early opening of the economy during a deadly pandemic and a lukewarm government response that cost several lives and was very vocal about that[9]. She created awareness about the mental health crisis amidst frontline workers during the pandemic and wrote an opinion piece for USA today[10] and was interviewed by NPR[11]. Days after the publication of that article a top frontline doctor killed herself amidst the New York pandemic crisis[12]

White coats for black life and other social justice issues

She was interviewed by USA Today regarding white coats for black life, where she was faced by racist comments including one where she was told to go back to where she came from[13]

She wrote the following poem in her second poetry book

black lives matter, black deaths matter

they demand
my skin be lighter so their kids
feel safe around me

they want
no hooded t-shirt
on my scalding head
in the heat of the day so
they feel safe around me

they have allowed my rise
in songs and Olympics
and the tennis court
with their hesitation,
bowing to my god-like
voice and body

but they give me the lowest ceilings
and keep me on a leash
to stay under other fields

they keep their white collars
and create a small token
of my race here and there
for wall carpet of diversity

they want
my pain to be mellow
and scream to be soft

they want
so much editing of me
they want to
take so much out of me

because they could
not empty the hands
of my ancestors enough

they want blood
out of their bloodline too[14]

dedicated to 
Trayvon Martin|Trayvon Benjamin Martin (February 5, 1995 – February 26, 2012)

She wrote a poem which is included in her second book of poetry, that was widely circulated in social media about consent, following sexual assault allegation by California professor Christine Blasey Ford against current Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh[15]. She created a Youtube video 'Consent is the law' regarding the matter.

Consent is the Law
it’s not an invitation till i invite you

it’s not an invitation
even if we sleep in the same bed married to each other,
legally and religiously declared man and wife

it’s not an invitation
even if my dress is not what your family, your own mind ,
your strict manuals of code of conduct, your religion, your country
or anyone, anything
other than me has decided ‘appropriate’ and makes you believe
i am ‘asking for it’
it’s not an invitation
if i just underwent or ever undergo gender reassignment surgery,
or if i am gender neutral , gender fluid, gender unclear, man or woman,
labeled or not labeled, of whatever body type, with or without society-approved perfections or imperfections, with or without curve
it’s not an invitation
if i am being sensuous, demure, docile,
virgin, non virgin, straight, gay, bisexual, unclear, monogamous, poly amorous, dominant,
forward, backward, as per your own interpretation
it’s not an invitation
if i am homeless or a pole dancer, stripper, rocket scientist, journalist, friend, sex worker, doctor, drug addict,
co-founder of a company pitching you an idea, student, struggling or established actress, wife, daughter, sister, caretaker, or in any and every role
it’s not an invitation
if i said yes at first and then changed my mind or if we had it one time already
so i should be ok when you feel like it again
it’s not an invitation
because i got drunk, or i got sober, or i am playing easy or hard to get or because i am celebrating
or suppressing my sexuality or lack of it
it’s not an invitation
whether i am wearing a bikini, hijab, sari, skirt, anything whatsoever or nothing
it’s not an invitation it’s not an invitation it’s not an invitation
till i say it is
till then you are not welcome and you are in violation
to the highest degree
and you are committing a crime
and it will never be my shame it will be your shame
oh and while we are at it
there is no such thing called ‘asking for it’ if i want i will ‘ask’
your entitlement is not my responsibility
your ignorance will be your suffering, not mine
just remember
it’s not an invitation till i invite you till i say yes,
it’s a no
and as someone wise once said very well ‘no’ is a complete sentence

Bibliography

  • Pillow of Dreams (October 2018)
  • I am not a Princess, I am a Complete Fairytale (March 2019)
  • The Life Currency (September 2021)

Artwork

She has created and exhibited acrylic, mixed media artwork and sketches. One of the artwork she sold at Red Dot Fair during Art Basel Miami, went on to become the cover of her first book- Pillow of Dreams[16]. She is illustrator of both of her books and sells her artwork online at personal website and fine art america.

References

  1. "Graduate Medical Education". Internal Medicine Residency Graduate Medical Education.
  2. "About Dr. Nivedita Lakhera (Pandey), MD". U.S. News & World Report. U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved 10 September 2020.
  3. "The Index". drsashanaircom. Retrieved 10 September 2020.
  4. "Paul Bennett Rothman, M.D., Professor of Medicine". Johns Hopkins Medicine. Retrieved 10 September 2020.
  5. "‎Eddie Green's 101: 054 : Dr. Nivedita Lakhera on Apple Podcasts". Apple Podcasts. Retrieved 10 September 2020.
  6. "EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: From The Front-Lines Of The War On Coronavirus". Van Nuys News Press. Retrieved 10 September 2020.
  7. "'This system is doomed': Doctors, nurses sound off in NBC News coronavirus survey". NBCNews.com. Retrieved 10 September 2020.
  8. "Obese People Are more at risk of COVID-19 than Others - New Study". DoctorsQuarters.com.com. Retrieved 10 September 2020.
  9. "'The economy cannot thrive on dead bodies,' – Dr. Nivedita Lakhera". COVID. Retrieved 10 September 2020.
  10. "Coronavirus: As a front-line doctor, I can't let another colleague suffer trauma, suicide". USA Today. Retrieved 10 September 2020.
  11. "What happens when doctors lose hope? The mental, emotional stress of being on COVID-19 frontlines". KCRW. Retrieved 10 September 2020.
  12. "Top E.R. Doctor Who Treated Virus Patients Dies by Suicide". The New York Times. Retrieved 10 September 2020.
  13. "'White Coats for Black Lives cannot be just one event for one year'". USA Today. Retrieved 10 September 2020.
  14. Lakhera, Nivedita (March 19, 2019). I Am Not A Princess, I Am A Complete Fairytale (First ed.). San Jose, California: Bowker. p. 36.
  15. "California professor, writer of confidential Brett Kavanaugh letter, speaks out about her allegation of sexual assault". The Washington Post. Retrieved 10 September 2020.
  16. "Healing amidst chaos - Dr. Nivedita Lakhera". Medium. Retrieved 10 September 2020.

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