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| PROFILE | and let them see you are the same.” He builds relationships by giving patients and their parents his personal cell number, something he says has never been abused. He uses social media to proudly keep them updated on his family that includes wife, Reetu Sharma, MD, a Roseville cardiologist and author of a children’s book, Uneek, about a tiger who seeks the stripes he was born without. Ash believes his frequent use of social media strengthens the connection he has with his patients’ families because they see him as a member of the community, not just a doctor.

Burnout “A Moral Injury” The road to his practice has not always been easy, and he has taken an interest in physician burnout because of his own experiences. “It is what many physicians are

talking about now as ‘moral injury,’” he said of the stress that can come from starting a new position in medicine. “You start feeling you are unable to take care of patients completely, the way you want it. My first burnout taught me that. “I was working too hard, but I did not see fulfillment at the end of the day. Patients were dying and I was seeing life a lot differently— I was a young attending at the time—and that taught me that I cannot save everyone if I cannot save myself.” He later experienced a second episode brought on by a similar lack of fulfillment that he said was caused by a need to do more than see patients in a large medical group setting. “At some point I think I started feeling that all I did was make Continued on page 20

Photo by Lindsay Coate

Ash came to the U.S. at age 24 and settled in Stockton, where the cardiologist uncle who had sponsored him practiced. Soft-spoken and introspective, Ash explained that an experience he had while working as a pharmacy technician shaped his approach to medicine and much of his life. Just after the 9/11 attacks, a woman at the pharmacy told him she didn’t want medicine from him and it made him realize how people’s prejudices shaped their behavior, even to the level of from whom they would receive lifesaving care and medications. “The only way to destroy stereotypes is to meet people and show them who you really are, and they will see you are the same,” he said. "You work on forging relationships that no stereotype can ever undermine. The only way that can happen is if you open your doors

Ash tests the reactions of Sophia Bailey, who received a concussion in a lacrosse game. Sophia was still showing some effects from the concussion two months after her injury. As part of his “Return to Learn” protocol, Sophia received extra time at school to take tests and had her homework limited as her cognitive abilities returned.

July/August 2019

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Profile for Sierra Sacramento Valley Medical Society

2019-Jul/Aug - SSV Medicine  

Sierra Sacramento Valley Medicine is the official journal of the Sierra Sacramento Valley Medical Society (SSVMS) and promotes the history,...

2019-Jul/Aug - SSV Medicine  

Sierra Sacramento Valley Medicine is the official journal of the Sierra Sacramento Valley Medical Society (SSVMS) and promotes the history,...