Tejal Desai attends the UMKC School of Medicine and is the UMKC student representative on the Kansas City Medical Society Leadership Council. In this blog, we get to know the KCMS Leadership Council.

Q1.What is your favorite part of practicing medicine (or working in your current role)?

A1. My favorite part of medicine so far has been building relationships with patients during my in-patient service and seeing them progress throughout their stay at the hospital. I have noticed that my relationships with them evolve over time through increased trust and comfort on both ends.

Q2. How do you spend your off time? What are your favorite pastimes or hobbies?

A2. I am a big coffee fanatic. In my hometown, there aren’t nearly as many small, independent coffee shops as there are in Kansas City, so I love visiting different shops every weekend. Additionally, some of my hobbies include cooking and traveling. I love learning about new cultures, and I think there’s no better way to experience that than to travel and to cook. Cooking is an especially nice, easy way to immerse yourself in a culture without having to leave the comfort of your kitchen.

Q3. What do you believe is the biggest challenge facing physicians right now? If you could change anything about healthcare, what would it be?

A3. I think the biggest challenge in the field of medicine right now is the debate over access to care. I am appreciative to be working at Truman Medical Center as it serves many of the underserved populations of the KC area. I am a proponent of the discounts and other forms of financial assistance that the Truman system provides to this population to ensure that they have access to care, medications, and whatever else they may need to live as healthy a life as possible. I know that not every hospital is able to offer these kinds of services, so over the coming years, healthcare policy should be modified to improve access to care for these many uninsured and underserved patients throughout our country.

Q4. What do you love about Kansas City life?

A4. Besides the coffee scene, I love the food in KC. There are restaurants of every variety throughout the city allowing me to experience the city’s multitude of cultures. Since moving to KC, I have been amazed by the prevalence of art in the city. I have really enjoyed the many museums, Plaza Art Fairs, First Fridays, and other events and festivals constantly taking place.

Q5. What are your favorite three restaurants?

A5. Blue Sushi, Cupini’s, and Koko Thai.

Q6.What else can you share with us that would allow members to get to know you?

A6. Before starting at UMKC, I lived in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Additionally, I’ve been dancing for many years and am trained in Bharatanatyam, a classical Indian dance form.