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LIVING ONE’S BEST LIFE PHYSICIAN DR. ANITA CHAKRAVARTI indfulnessb a s e d wellness, selfc o mp a s s i o n and life-work balance are au courant topics that women today contemplate and want to know more about. These are also all topics that Dr. Anita Chakravarti is passionate about. Born in India, Anita moved to Saskatoon as a child when her father began work as a geography professor at the University of Saskatchewan (U of S). She went on to graduate from the College of Medicine at the U of S and completed her Anesthesiology Fellowship at the University of Alberta in 1987. The focus of her medical career became clinical anesthesiology and intensive care. To add even more medicine to the equation, Anita married an orthodontist. The couple now has two grown children (and the recent additions of a son-in-law and a daughter-in-law). “Growing up, I was a big fan of Dr. McCoy on the Star Trek television series and his desire to heal everyone even if it put himself at risk,” says Anita. She is a calming presence in person and one can imagine her professional and compassionate bedside manner with patients. Twenty years ago, Anita was in a horseback



riding accident that left her with chronic pain. The direction of her career, and her life, changed and pain medicine became her professional specialty. Notably, she was the first medical director of the regional Chronic Pain Centre and helped to establish pain medicine as a recognized Canadian subspecialty. Her work has now shifted focus towards promoting health and wellness through mindful practice. Anita continues to be a member of the Saskatchewan Health Authority, Department of Anesthesiology, a professor at the College of Medicine and she facilitates wellness programming with the U of S. It sounds like a very busy life — physician, professor, wife and mother — all while managing chronic pain. “To live your best life, it’s about self-care and community care. Resilience is not just about bouncing back from life events; it’s about finding meaning and purpose and also connecting to yourself and others.” Anita’s daughter, Sonya Lalli, recently debuted her novel The Matchmaker’s List. As well as being a published author, Sonya is a lawyer and lives in Toronto with her husband. Anita’s son Jay has followed the family’s medical path and is an oral and maxillofacial surgeon in Saskatoon. She is visibly happy to have her son back in Saskatoon with his family.

What’s next for a woman with so many accomplishments? “Several years ago, I made a decision to be free from fear, guilt and self-doubt and to own my power with compassion and courage — reframing my vulnerabilities as strengths.” “Through my business [M]POWER Mindful Professional Practice, I offer keynote speeches, seminars and corporate retreats. These are based on mindful practice as a catalyst for individual, organizational and global change.” Dedicated to Anita's two best female physician friends — trailblazers in their own right — who died from cancer while she was going through her breast cancer treatments: Dr. Thirza Smith and Dr. Joan Stevenson.

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REFINED Saskatoon Vol4 Iss2  

REFINED Saskatoon Vol4 Iss2