Sanjiv Shah, MD, MPH
Sanjiv Shah, MD, MPH
Attending Critical Care Physician
Establishing Trust Between Doctor and Patient
Growing up in Tanzania, Dr. Sanjiv Shah lived three floors above his father’s medical office and recalls how often he heard him say that caring for his patients was his greatest joy. “If he made them better, they would be eternally grateful. If things did not go well, as might occur from time to time, they would say it was God’s will.” From that, Dr. Shah learned that being a doctor “bestows a special privilege. It is a trust relationship that is both challenging and rewarding and must be respected and honored.”
As Chief Medical Officer of MetroPlusHealth, Dr. Shah combines his personal inspiration with his 25 years of experience as an infectious disease specialist, teacher and physician leader to build on the health system insurance plan’s record of providing New Yorkers with access to affordable, high-quality health care. He joined MetroPlus in 2019, just six months before the pandemic hit New York, and during the height of the emergency, he oversaw the redeployment of the plan’s clinical staff to the health system and launched several outreach campaigns, including a partnership with the city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to increase testing and vaccination rates among the plan’s more than 600,000 members.
Dr. Shah received his medical education in England and arrived in New York for his residency at Mount Sinai in 1992. In his second year, he rotated to NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst, an introduction to the nation’s largest public health care system that left an indelible impression. “I learned a life lesson about the importance of psychosocial and socioeconomic factors that are inextricably woven into the fabric of medical care. It was also like being part of this great medical team providing care to a community as diverse as the United Nations.”
After 30 years and many career stops later, Dr. Shah is lauded for being “tireless in ensuring high standards and exemplifying the system’s ICARE values,” especially during a pandemic that has highlighted health disparities and the role NYC Health + Hospitals plays in narrowing them. “It was the privilege of a lifetime working with colleagues at MetroPlusHealth as NYC responded to COVID-19,” Dr. Shah says. “We tied our ropes together. You quickly appreciate the aphorism: All achievement is shared.”