By Roberto Hugo Gonzalez
As originally published first by Mega Metropolis Health & Fitness newsprint edition of March 2010
Hard work, dedication, perseverance, and love are some of the words used to describe Sarojini Bose MD. She is a pediatric medical doctor that has risen from almost nothing in life to becoming a successful professional in the medical field. Dr. Bose is a champion that has defeated many adversities. She had a desire to become someone in life so she obtained a Ph.D. in biochemistry and worked for about ten years in that industry. She, then, began her second career as a medical doctor and has been a practicing pediatrician in the Valley for more than ten years.
Dr. Bose is a very intelligent person and a successful woman in every aspect, yet she is very down to earth. Her desire to become a pediatrician came during the very difficult days when her little daughter, Ashley, was diagnosed with a rare and dangerous cancer. “I wanted to know more. I wanted to make sure that I was well informed about the disease that had stricken my daughter,” she stated.
The ophthalmologist who operated on Ashley’s tumor speculated that the tissue sample after surgery indicated rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare type of cancer. He called the Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City and made arrangements to start treatment. The Boses were living in Logan, Utah at that time. When they took their daughter to the Children’s Hospital, the pathologist and the oncologist looked at the pathology slide, which the Boses had taken to the hospital, and the doctors confirmed that the tumor was NOT malignant. “It was our best gift from God to me and my wife,” said Dr. Bose’s husband, Dr. Subhash Bose, Ph.D., P.E. a professor of the Manufacturing Engineering Department at the University of Texas-Pan American. Ashley Bose is now attending UT Pan American and is planning to pursue a career in medicine.
Becoming a medical doctor is no simple task when you are raising a family and your husband is fully dedicated to his job in education. He had been hired by, then, “Pan American University” to develop their manufacturing engineering department. Despite the need for a move from Utah to Edinburg, Dr. Bose went through with the idea and gave her full support to her husband. “My husband is everything to me. He has helped me achieve the goals in my life,” she told Mega Metropolis Health & Fitness.
It was easy to see that Dr. Bose and her husband, professor Bose, are very much in tune despite the heavy workload that they both have. On one hand, Dr. Subhash Bose teaches classes, has duties at the University, and takes care of the clinics’ administrative affairs. On the other hand, Dr. Bose runs six clinics and a mobile medical clinic that travels to rural areas of Hidalgo County. The clinics are operated under the name of Ashley Pediatrics Day and Night Clinics; for newborns and children younger than 18 years of age. “On a daily basis, this busy schedule is challenging, but becomes easier when you have a supportive husband as I do,” she stated.
Mega Metropolis Health & Fitness first met with Dr. Bose when the McAllen Hispanic Chamber of Commerce selected her to become the Small Businesswoman of the Year, in 2009. She was described as “absolutely unbelievable” and her work in the community was described as “outstanding.” According to the narration of that day, Dr. Bose began with two doctors and a nurse and started to build clinics because she felt strongly about children and their needs. She decided to expand because she saw many low-income families needing healthcare services.
Today it is a different story; she has about sixty medical assistants, multiple doctors, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and more, in order to serve the needs of her community. She became a medical doctor at the age of 43, but started her medical career and private practice at age 48.
Dr. Bose graduated in 1996 from Ross University College of Medicine, in Dominica, West Indies. Since then, it’s been a very active and fulfilling medical career for her.
She remembers that not too long ago, she had come to America as a visiting scholar to the University of Illinois – Urbana Campaign in February of 1980. “I had only twenty dollars in my pocket,” she stated. Dr. Bose, who is originally from India, is one of eight children. Her father passed away when she was only two years old. She remembers and recognizes her mother’s hard work, trying to raise eight children by herself with no education. Dr. Bose’s humble beginnings encouraged her desire to grow up and study to become a professional in order to break the cycle of poverty. She said her most difficult challenge after acquiring a Ph.D. in biochemistry, was going to medical school, especially, starting at such a late age.
Time after time during this interview, Dr. Bose has given full credit to her husband; she said that it was he that put her through medical school. In order for her to become a medical doctor, she had to live outside the Valley for many years and this is where her husband became a hero. During the last three years of her residency at the Driscoll Children’s Hospital in Corpus Christi, her husband drove up on a weekly basis without fail. “He brought my daughter and my mother, who came from India to help us while I was in school,” she stated.
Dr. Subhash Bose knows that it was hard for him too. “He was a full time professor and head of the manufacturing engineering department,” Dr. Bose stated.
She pointed out that the little free time she had while in residency was divided between husband, daughter, and mother.
At the present time, the responsibility of running multiple pediatric clinics has not prevented Dr. Bose from coming up with new ways to serve her community. Her mobile medical clinic visits rural areas and does a lot of good. “We dispense vaccines, flu shots, and physical exams,” she said. She added that when a family is not able to pay a nominal fee, the services become free.
Dr. Bose has also started a transportation company in order to provide transportation to patients who cannot come to the clinic, themselves.
Being in India and living in a poverty stricken environment made Dr. Bose a strong person. She often sees similarities between her life and those of the migrant families in the Valley. She is aware that many of these families move around constantly to work in the fields. “I know that this affects the family, the children, and for teenagers, it is traumatic,” she stated.
When parents of her small patients open themselves up and talk about the hard life they live, she finds an opportunity to lift up their spirits by sharing with them a little bit of what she went through. She reminds them to be strong. “At least you have a home, your parents, and you live in a land of opportunities. “If I can make it, you can make it,” she urges. That is why Dr. Sarojini Bose is our Mega Doctor of this month.
Written by Roberto Hugo Gonzalez the 2009 SBA Journalist of the Year Award Winner & The 2009 and 2012 Paul Harris Award recipient.