Q&A: Rajan K. Mirchandani, M.D.
Published: Saturday, October 18th, 2003
Rajan K. Mirchandani, M.D., 46, will be opening a private practice in Clovis in January. Q: Where do you presently work? A: I’ve been working in the Urgent Care Center at Plains Regional Medical Center for the last 2 1/2 years. Q: What brought you to the Clovis area? A: Dr. William Gaspar and I were in residency together in Denver at Presbyterian Medical Center there. That was from 1993 to 1995. I was his intern, and he was a second-year resident, so we spent many nights together on call. He came here around 1997. I kept in touch with him. He invited me to visit, and I liked what I saw. Q: What is your educational and professional background? A: I did my undergraduate studies at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. Then I worked with my father in the family import-export business in Japan for five years. Then I returned to the United States in 1980, and I continued my undergraduate education at the University of Colorado at Boulder. I taught school for a while and decided to go to medical school. I went to the University of Colorado Medical School in Denver. I did my residency at Presbyterian Medical Center in Denver. Q: After your schooling, where did you go? A: I practiced medicine in Colorado for a while. Then I decided to move here for a more relaxed pace of life. Colorado was becoming too hectic and overpopulated. It has a lot of traffic congestion. It was just too much. Q: How do you find the patient load here compared to Colorado? A: For one thing, it’s less — and the people aren’t quite as demanding. They don’t expect you to be Superman. In Denver, they demand Superman powers and behavior. Q: How would you compare urgent care practice to going into private practice? A: In urgent care, you don’t have any control over how many patients you see in an hour. I wanted to have a more evenly spaced schedule of seeing patients so I can provide optimum care. We now have two doctors for seven rooms in urgent care. In the beginning, there was only one doctor and seven rooms, so you found yourself running back and forth. It was a choppy schedule. I wanted something more predictable. I prefer a nine-hour shift instead of a 12-hour shift. Q: Is the physician shortage in this area real? A: No question there is a physician shortage. The town has to ask the questions, “Why Clovis? Why would a doctor want to come here?” It’s not going to happen by chance. There has to be a plan to recruit physicians, and there has to be a professional recruiter doing the job. Presbyterian Healthcare Services in Albuquerque has hired a full-time recruiter there in Albuquerque. What we need is a full-time recruiter for the Clovis area. That would solve so many problems. A good recruiter is worth his weight in gold. Q: From your perspective, how many physicians do we need in this area? A: It really should be based on what the town wants — how in-depth do you want medical specialties? We need basic specialty physicians. The need is for about 20 and the want is for 40. Q: Will you be taking new patients after you begin your private practice, or are you taking over someone else’s patient load? A: I will be taking new patients. I’ve been told that I will have a full practice within the first 90 days. Q: What prompted you to stay in the Clovis area? What about missing the mountains? A: I looked at the different options, and out of all my options, Clovis was the best one — in terms of lifestyle, in terms of patient profile, in terms of practice structure and the flexibility. That’s a real plus. I think the whole mountain thing is overrated. I think happiness is not so much dictated by environment as it is by human interaction. I’ve met some people in Clovis who are very sincere, very dedicated, full of integrity and good intentions. I’ve met some of the nicest people here — I really have. Q: Tell us about your family. A: My wife, Kazue, who goes by her nickname, “Aki,” is a nursing student at Clovis Community College. We have two sons — Arjune, 25, is a computer programmer in Boulder, Colo., and Kush, 22, is a biologist in California. They both graduated from college this year and found jobs right away. — Compiled by CNJ senior writer Gary Mitchell
Click Here To See More Stories Like This