10 Questions With Hematologist Oncologist Ranju Gupta, MD
BY EMILY SHIFFER
Ranju Gupta, MD, hematologist and medical oncologist with LVPG Hematology Oncology–Muhlenberg and Lehigh Valley Cancer Institute, was honored by Lehigh Valley Business as a Circle of Excellence honoree in its 2021 Women of Influence awards program May 3, 2021. She is one of 38 women to be honored. The Women of Influence award recognizes high-achieving women for their career accomplishments, who are leading the way for other women.
“I believe that women are the most important pillars of any society,” Gupta says. “I see this award as a confirmation that women can achieve what they aspire to while balancing work, kids and family. I hope this award inspires my daughter and many others like her to work hard and keep aspiring! Even the sky is not the limit for them.”
Get to know Dr. Gupta with her answers to 10 questions she selected from our vault of questions:
What inspired you to get into medicine?
My grandmother had severe arthritis, and from a very young age (maybe 6 or 7 years old), I knew I wanted to be a doctor to help my grandmother.
What is your proudest accomplishment of your career?
Starting the cardio-oncology program at Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) is something I am very proud of. It is one of its kind in the Lehigh Valley area, and our goal – oncologists and cardiologists – is to help cancer patients by managing potential heart side effects from chemotherapy.
Being able to lead the breast cancer program at LVHN is another feather in my cap. But my truly greatest accomplishment is the love and trust of my patients and their families.
Another achievement of mine that I am extremely proud of is my involvement in the Pink Pumpkins Coins 4 Chemo organization. This group was started by one of my patients, and as the years progressed, I became heavily engaged with the group. I get personal satisfaction from being able to connect with my patients outside of the office and help other people who I don't necessarily treat.
What's one thing you hope patients take away from their time with you?
I want my patients to know that I am their advocate. I treat all my patients as my own family members and will do everything possible to provide them the best care.
What is your family like, and how do you balance work and family life?
My family includes my husband, Anil Gupta, MD, who is an interventional cardiologist with LVPG Cardiology, and two lovely children. My son is a junior in college, and my daughter is a freshman at Moravian Academy. My husband is my rock and helps me balance work and family life by sharing a lot of chores at home. My children also are very supportive, and they have participated in many of the community things I do. Balancing work and family life can be very difficult many times. I am very organized and will prioritize things to do at home and at work. No matter what, I always find time to attend my kids' activities, performances, etc.
What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
My hobbies include watching movies with my family, trying new recipes, and gardening in the summer with my husband.
What's your favorite food?
Since I lived in India for a significant portion of my life, eating Indian food allows me to still feel connected to my roots and my family. Therefore, I do consider Indian food to be my favorite food. Aside from that, my family and I also like Mexican cuisine.
Aside from necessities, what is one thing could you not go a day without?
Besides necessities, I don't think I could go a day without prayers. My faith keeps me grounded and is a guiding tool in my life every single day. I feel as if I would be lost without prayers, and it helps me follow the path that is right for me.
What’s your favorite movie?
Although my daughter makes fun of me for it, I love the “Indiana Jones” and “James Bond” franchises because I find them extremely comedic, fun to watch, and I love Harrison Ford!
Where was the most interesting place you have traveled to?
I think the most interesting place I have traveled to is Kenya. My family and I went there years ago, and since then, I cannot wait until I can go back. I think it was my favorite place to travel to because it was a surreal experience, and I had never seen anything like it.
What’s one interesting fact about you that would surprise us?
When I was younger, I also wanted to be a dancer. However, this didn't happen. Even though I couldn't fulfill my dream, I feel as though I live vicariously through my daughter who has been dancing for almost 10 years.
Learn more about Dr. Gupta by visiting her profile at LVHN.org/Gupta, and viewing her video.