Culpeper Medical Center, a Novant Health UVA Health System facility, strives to provide quality, comprehensive healthcare to the Culpeper community from a team of talented medical professionals. Here you can get to know one of our providers, Dr. Pranav Patel.
Pranav D. Patel, MD, chief of the department of medicine at Novant Health UVA Health System Culpeper Medical Center
How long have you been practicing medicine?
13 years, since I finished my residency in 2006.
What is your background?
I studied at Texas A&M Health Science College of Medicine before joining the U.S. Army through their Health Professions Scholarship Program. During my 11 years in active duty and four years in the Army Reserves, I completed a residency in internal medicine and a fellowship in hematology-oncology, both at Walter Reed Medical Center (Bethesda, MD).
What is oncology and how does it differ from hematology?
Oncology refers to the study and treatment of cancer, while hematology focuses on blood disorders, including blood cancers as well as benign conditions such as blood clotting disorders or anemia. The two specialties overlap when it comes to treating blood cancers.
What made you pursue a specialty in hematology-oncology?
When I was doing my residency, there was a lot changing in the field of oncology and the growth of personalized medicine was driving new approaches for treating patients. I was drawn to both the science of cancer treatment and the interpersonal relationships that providers in this field often build with their patients during their treatment journeys. About 75% of my work today is cancer-related, while the remaining 25% is for benign conditions.
What attracted you to UVA Cancer Care, a department of Culpeper Medical Center?
The main thing that attracted me to UVA Cancer Care was the opportunity to be part of a big hospital system. I prefer having everything under one umbrella, which Novant Health UVA Health System offers. As a provider, I can worry less about referring patients to outside practices for subspecialties, surgeries, etc. and focus more on treating them with the services we have available here. Location was also a big factor. I love the Northern Virginia area and wanted to stay here, as well as live close to my job.
What specific services do you offer?
Hematology-oncology services, primarily, but we also offer infusion services as a courtesy to the community. We see patients with disorders such as lupus, inflammatory bowel disorders and more who need infusions, but don’t want to go outside of Novant Health UVA Health System to get them. We’re able to provide them at our practice and avoid a redundancy in personnel.
What are you most passionate about as a provider?
My biggest focus is being a patient advocate and determining how to care for individual patients as we treat cancer. Every diagnosis is different. We try to focus on approaches that maintain quality of life, and whatever that means to each patient. If it’s a case we can’t cure, managing symptoms is important. For curable cases, I try to be their cheerleader getting them through treatment and recovery.
What are your hopes for the future of cancer treatment?
Of course, all of us want to find a cure for cancer, but until then I’d like to continue to see improved approaches to treating it as a chronic disease.
What would your patients be surprised to learn about you?
I’m a huge sports fan. I love watching and playing them all, especially basketball. And I was pretty good when I had better knees.
For more information about UVA Cancer Care, a department of Novant Health UVA Health System Culpeper Medical Center, please visit novanthealthuva.org/clinic-locations/uva-cancer-care.aspx