Dr. Rina Sanghavi cites her family as a major influence in her pursuing a STEMM career. “My mother always wanted me to be a physician,” she said. Additionally, “my grandmother suffered from asthma. I saw her being hospitalized multiple times and that was a big motivator for me to pursue medicine.” Today, Dr. Sanghavi is a leader in the Pediatric Gastroenterology Division at UT Southwestern. She “studies how the intestine’s nerves and muscles affect GI motility.” She also treats children with anorectal malformations and bowel management issues.
Dr. Sanghavi’s path to becoming a physician was ripe with obstacles. “I wanted to leave my country to study abroad to see how medicine was practiced in a different country. Against family norms, I left home to come to the U.S.,” she said.
“The early days were difficult but what I learned that still stays with me today (is) that change is the only constant in life, and the sooner you go with change, the faster you adapt.”
“I was told time and again that I would not be successful as no one in my family was a physician,” Dr. Sanghavi recalled. However, she did not allow these negative opinions to deter her. Instead, she said that “motivated me and I am the first physician in my family; and the first one to leave India to study in a foreign country.”
Next generation of Women in STEMM
Looking to the next generation of women in medicine, Dr. Sanghavi advises young girls to “dream without limits and believe in yourself. That belief combined with hard work will get you to where you want to be.” She sees her participation in the Celebrating Breakthroughs Together project as “a big honor and a privilege. I hope to inspire other young women who are being told ‘you can’t.’ I hope they see that ‘they can.’”
The UT Southwestern Difference
As a compassionate provider of pediatric care, Dr. Sanghavi’s work as a clinician is driven by a simple truth. “I love my patients! I get to work with children all day. The optimism of the children is a big motivator for me to continually work to make them better,” she said. “I also love teaching the next generation of physicians, who are brighter and more amazing with every generation.”
Work Life Balance
Outside of her work as a pediatrician, Dr. Sanghavi makes time for her favorite hobbies. “I like dancing, and gardening,” she said. “In addition, I volunteer at different projects to address issues of hunger in children.”View Academic Profile