Dr. Rajiv Narula has never been one to wait for the world to come to him. Combining his love of adventure with his medical training, the area doctor has found himself providing care off the beaten path in communities across the globe.
Narula is an internist at MidHudson Regional Hospital, a member of the Westchester Medical Center Health Network. He also provides travel-medicine services that help safeguard patients’ health as they explore the world’s most challenging and exotic locales – whether for business, study, humanitarian work or pure wanderlust.
At MidHudson Regional Hospital, Narula serves as an occupational health physician, helping local schools and companies stay healthy and manage work-related injuries. He conducts New York State Department of Transportation health certification exams for drivers, along with drug testing, pre-employment physicals and annual physicals.
“I enjoy educating my patients about preventative healthcare, proper nutrition and lifestyle issues,” said Narula. “Though I may see them for an administrative examination, the time that I get to spend with the patient is crucial, as I can suggest lifestyle modifications that can be beneficial to them.”
Narula’s travel patients typically frequent exotic locales across India, Southeast Asia, Africa and Latin America. The biggest health risks they face, he said, are food- and water-borne illnesses, like hepatitis A; people-to-people infections, like hepatitis B; mosquito-borne illnesses, such as malaria; animal-related infections, like rabies; and issues related to the environment and inaccessible healthcare.
To help create a customized treatment strategy, patients complete an enhanced health questionnaire that covers lodging, food and activities, as well as expected travel conditions of their upcoming trip. Patients also have access to travel medicine supplies, which include items such as insect repellants, a suture kit, sterile needles and syringes, a first-aid kit and an ultraviolet pen to sterilize water. “They leave the office with everything they need,” said Narula, who is certified in travel health and family medicine.
Continue reading more about Narula's travels via Advancing Care in the Hudson Valley.