With 40 years of service, Dhana Rengachary, M.D., is a fixture in Swope Health Services Women’s Health Care.
While she can’t say how many babies she has delivered or how many women she has cared for, she has patients who have brought daughters and now granddaughters to see her for their obstetric and gynecological care.
“The best part of being in the same community for so long is people know you,” she said. “I am seeing many of the third and even fourth generation of my patients.”
She has tremendous recall of names and faces, which often astonishes her patients when she asks about family members and long-ago connections.
“I really have a good memory about people,” she said. “It surprises them to learn that I remember them. They learn that I am still connected to them. And when they come back for a visit, that connection is there.”
“Connection” is important to Dr. Rengachary. She invests her time and energy in making connections with her patients, in special ways that work for her. She arrives early to review the charts and records of the patients she will see each day. That way, when she is in the exam room, she avoids the distraction of using the computer. Her focus remains on her patient and making sure she is listening – connecting – with each person.
Talking to Dr. Rengachary is a bit like visiting with a friendly grandmother. You feel the focus of her attention, and she is always smiling and happy to see you. She asks questions and listens carefully, then offers her own direct views, often with a story of her own experience. It is her special way of developing a bond with her patients.
These days, she finds herself frequently encouraging patients to make time to take care of themselves. She sees the pattern of women putting a focus on children and family for years, and then caring for their own parents in later years.
“I say, ‘Make time to take care of yourself,’ ” she says. “I see people who are so involved with their children’s lives that they forget to care for themselves. Now is the time to live your life.”
For Dr. Rengachary, her own life is inextricably tied to Swope Health Services. She is proud of the care SHS offers, and she speaks as both a caregiver and a patient. Dr. Rengachary tells her patients she uses SHS for her own medical, dental and optometry care.
When colleagues ask for advice, she says there are three things you need for a good practice: Availability, Amicability and Ability.
- Availability – “I am always on call for my patients.”
- Amicability – She is approachable and friendly, showing her patients she cares for them.
- Ability – She brings her medical training and experience to care for every patient.
But her main philosophy is much simpler and can apply to everyone. “Put your heart into your work,” she said.
“This is service. This is what I love,” she says. “I give the best care I can every day. And I can’t wait until I come back the next day.”
We encourage you to take Dr. Rengachary’s advice and make time to visit your doctor. Call us to schedule an appointment: (816) 923-5800.