“There were many times when we would be food shopping and a former patient would stop my mom to say hello and talk. She was like a celebrity,” Haarika Korlipara recalled. “Even at a young age, I could see the positive impact she had on each of their lives. That was very inspiring to me.”
Haarika Korlipara’s interest in medicine was sparked at a young age when she and her mother, St. Charles Hospital Advanced Rehabilitation Medicine Physician Anuja Korlipara, MD, visited the grocery store.
“There were many times when we would be food shopping and a former patient would stop my mom to say hello and talk. She was like a celebrity,” Haarika recalled. “Even at a young age, I could see the positive impact she had on each of their lives. That was very inspiring to me.”
Haarika is now following in the footsteps of her mother and is in her fourth year at the Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University. Dr. Korlipara graduated medical school in her native India before moving to the United States in 1994. She joined Catholic Health in 2003.
With her mother as her inspiration, Haarika decided the world of health care would be her career path.
“I always encouraged her to go and do whatever she wanted,” said Dr. Korlipara. “She was taught to have good values, get a good education and be able to stand on her own two feet. But it was clear during high school that she was going to pursue something in science.”
While not pressuring her daughter to choose a specific career path, once Haarika decided on the medical field, she did provide some advice.
“I told her that being a doctor requires life-long learning,” Dr. Korlipara said. “It will also be important for her to choose the right career path and understand that what you will be doing will make a difference in people’s lives.”
Haarika learned that mom’s advice was spot on and pursuing her dream has given her even greater admiration for the work her mother did to become a doctor.
“Going through medical school has given me a new perspective on the challenges my mother faced to get into the field of health care,” Haarika said. “It has definitely been challenging, but being able to tap into my mother’s experience and knowledge for guidance has been a big help.”
Haarika is considering specializing in internal medicine. That decision comes with the support of her mother and some sage advice.
“My mother has told me to face obstacles and use adversity to make me stronger,” she said. “She also stressed the importance to always be kind with patients and to value those relationships.”