Dr. Neil Kathuria: Texas College of Emergency Physicians Award

By Lisa Ashley Warshaw

When Dr. Neil Kathuria witnessed the level of care his ailing aunt received in her battle with cancer, it solidified his desire to pursue a career in medicine. He was inspired to care for patients the way doctors cared for his aunt.

Dr. Neil Kathuria
Dr. Neil Kathuria

So after he graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with a bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering, the Houston native returned to Texas to attend UT Southwestern Medical School.

This year, the faculty in the Division of Emergency Medicine recognized Dr. Kathuria with the Texas College of Emergency Physicians Award. The honor goes to a student who demonstrates excellence in emergency medicine, with special recognition for dedication to Texans who need emergency care.

As an aspiring emergency room physician, Dr. Kathuria understands he is a patient’s first point of contact.

“I see patients at their most vulnerable stage, when they are unaware of their disease and unsure of any treatment plan,” he said. “Unfortunately, we only have minutes to gain their trust and communicate the depths of complex medical terminology.”

“Dr. Kathuria is probably the most focused and driven student to pursue emergency medicine for the last several years,” said Dr. Jeff Van Dermark, Assistant Professor of Surgery in the Division of Emergency Medicine. “Not only was he interested in obtaining the best residency program for himself, he demonstrated great leadership in the further development of our student interest group and other activities to enlighten the future of UT Southwestern students in the field of emergency medicine.”

Dr. Kathuria knows that minutes are precious in the emergency room.

“It is through emergency medicine that I hope to bridge the gap between the physician’s knowledge and the patient’s distress,” he said.

By translating the language of medicine, Dr. Kathuria looks not only to treat, but also to comfort the patients in their time of greatest need.

Dr. Kathuria enjoys the adrenaline rush when a new patient comes into the emergency room. From a simple laceration to a complicated GI case, “emergency medicine truly allows me to be a ‘jack of all trades’ – always treating different diseases and adapt ing to new challenges,” he said.

Dr. Kathuria said he considers the Emergency Physicians Award as motivation to enhance his education and to strive to provide the best patient care possible. After completing his residency at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center in New York City, he plans to pursue a career in academic medicine.

In academia, “I not only can help my patients, but aspiring doctors as well,” he said.

“It is our sincere hope,” said Dr. Van Dermark, “that Dr. Kathuria returns to Texas as a leader in emergency medicine, which is the true embodiment of the Texas College of Emergency Physicians Award.”