Meet Dr. Smitha Mellacheruvu - ECHO Associates

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Meet Dr. Smitha Mellacheruvu

Dr. Smitha Mellacheruvu is a highly regarded hematologist/oncologist who joins us from New York. In the interview below, she shares some information about her background, interests, and approach to care.

Where were you born and raised?

I was born and raised in India. I did my medical school training there and received my Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery at Osmania Medical College in India. I came to the United States in 2000 to continue my medical career.

What made you decide to be a doctor?

My mother is a physician and I grew up on a medical school campus. This inspired me to pursue medicine from a very young age.

Where did you do your training?

I completed my internal medicine internship and residency at UCONN School of Medicine. After residency, I did my fellowship in Hematology-Oncology from the Montefiore Medical Center, Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. I then went on to serve as a fellow/ clinical lecturer at the University of Michigan in their division of bone marrow transplantation.

How did you choose the field of hematology/oncology?

While in my internal medicine residency, I was inspired by the Hematology-Oncology physicians I worked under. Also, around that time, Gleevec was approved for management of Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). Gleevec is an oral targeted therapy medication used to treat cancer and was a major breakthrough in precision medicine. This advancement is cancer care also inspired me to pursue Hematology-Oncology.

Where did you work after you completed your training?

I served as an attending physician in the Division of Hematologic Malignancies and Bone Marrow Transplantation at Montefiore Medical Center in New York. In 2011 I joined a private hematology/ oncology practice in New York where I spent the next 7 years. Since 2018, I have been an attending physician in oncology and hematology at Montefiore Einstein Center for Cancer Care, St. Johns Riverside Hospital in Yonkers, and most recently at Northern Westchester Hospital.

What do you like most about being a doctor?

My favorite part of being a physician is being able to alleviate the suffering of patients and providing patients and their families with comfort and peace of mind.

What is your approach to care?

I try to approach patient care by studying the details pertaining to each case, understanding the current knowledge in the field pertaining to that case, and communicating this in an effective manner to the patient to enable shared decision making. I try to make management plans that will provide the best outcomes for the patient, while at the same time honoring their values and preferences.

Why did you decide to join ECHO?

I am drawn to the ability to provide advances in the field of hematology-oncology, in a community setting, where patients are close to home. I am honored to work with an experienced team of physicians and a wonderful staff.

What do you do outside of work?

I enjoy spending time with my 2 daughters, reading, music, and taking care of our pet hamster.

Dr. Mellacheruvu will see patients at ECHO starting in mid-June.
Please join us in extending her a warm welcome.