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Prem Srivastava

Prem Srivastava, MD

Attending Physician
NYC Health + Hospitals/Carter

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Finding Inspiration from His Patients

Dr. Prem Srivastava remembers the day vividly: He was a six-year-old in India, sick at home, when a tall man came to his house to see him. “He was dressed in a white shirt and white pants, with a stethoscope hanging around his neck,” Dr Srivastava recalls. “While he was examining me, I kept looking at him in amazement and knew I wanted to be like him.”

Dr. Srivastava didn’t come from a family of great means but he went on to graduate from King George’s Medical College, one of India’s most prestigious medical schools, and practiced for several years before emigrating to the United States. For 30 years he has served New York City’s public hospitals, first at the former Goldwater Memorial Hospital on Roosevelt Island (later renamed Coler-Goldwater Specialty Hospital and Nursing Facility) and since 2013 at NYC Health + Hospitals/Carter in East Harlem. 

Dr. Srivastava’s first assignment in the system was a demanding one that he has since regarded as his proudest accomplishment as a NYC Health + Hospitals physician. It was 1993, at the height of the city’s tuberculosis epidemic that had begun five years earlier. “I was hired to run a locked tuberculosis unit at Goldwater that harbored the most difficult patients who were infected with HIV or resistant tuberculosis,” he says. “Altercations between patients occurred almost every day despite the presence of hospital police.”

With indefatigable patience and care, Dr. Srivastava managed the unit for eight years, until the TB epidemic in New York ended and the unit was shut down. He has continued that high level of dedication throughout his 10 years at Carter, following a simple rule: “You absolutely have to put yourself in your patient’s place.”  

Says Dr. Michael Schuster, Carter’s Chief Medical Officer: “Dr. Prem exemplifies the best possible qualities of a physician: compassionate, relatable, reliable and clinically astute. His presence serves as a model to both established colleagues and to new members of the team.”

Dr. Srivastava has long appreciated the unique experience of serving the public hospital system of a city as diverse as New York: “Our patients come from all over the world, carrying with them their culture, tradition, belief and most importantly their attitude toward physicians. Working in this kind of environment, a person can learn much about life.” 

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