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Dr. Sunny’s Strong Medical Embrace

Anesthesia is resident’s dream come true
By Scott Warner

While Sachin Jha, MD, likes to be called “Sunny,” his nickname refers to more than the fact that he comes from sunny Southern California. The name easily applies to his disposition as well as his outlook on medicine.

A fourth-year anesthesiology resident at Rush University Medical Center, Dr. Jha is the first resident to be selected for Chicago Medicine’s Who’s Who section because of his already substantial professional contributions. While only at the beginning of his career, he has been involved in a cornucopia of activities. Here’s but a small sampling: Dr. Jha has authored numerous resolutions that were adopted by the American Medical Association; he serves on the board of VideoMedicine, a new telemedicine initiative that provides a digital communications platform for patients and providers; he’s co-founder and director of Smarter Perspectives, a Washington-based think-tank on health care; he helped raise funds to support Haiti after the devastating earthquake; and interned at the World Health Organization.

He beams brightest when he talks about his medical specialty. “Medicine was something I always wanted to go into, to make a profound impact, not only on individual lives, but also on large groups,” he says, explaining that he chose anesthesiology because he could work with one patient at a time, and make a difference in their lives. “Anesthesiologists work with patients who are often stressed and about to undergo surgery or who are critically ill and at the ‘brink of death.’ We often meet our patients on the day of surgery or when we are called to critically intervene. We have to quickly establish rapport, gain their confidence, be their advocate, and manage their risks.”

He also says he enjoys the close collaboration on patients’ cases, working with, and learning from a melange of physicians, including cardiologists, internists, orthopedic surgeons, urologists, and neurosurgeons. He feels as if anesthesia is essentially the intersection between the surgical and medical worlds.

And he’s passionate about getting younger physicians involved in organized medicine, urging them to participate, or at the very least, become a member of CMS, ISMS, and the AMA. “When we’re lobbying our legislators for a cause in health care, we need to show that we have a sizeable number of physicians as members; our strength is in our numbers.”

One of his proudest moments came when CMS, ISMS and AMA adopted a resolution he authored, “Excise Taxes on Tobacco and Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems.” It was on this same measure that CMS President-elect Adrienne Fregia, MD, spoke before a press conference at City Hall earlier this year. Dr. Fregia relayed CMS’ support for a tax on e-cigarettes. The City Council later passed the tax proposal.

What’s in store for the future? When he completes his residency at Rush in July, Dr. Jha will return to his native California for a one-year regional anesthesiology fellowship at the University of California, Los Angeles, where he will also serve as a clinical instructor. He says he looks forward to seeing more of his family; his father Uma is an electrical engineer, his mother Mamta is a project manager of clinical trials at a pharmaceutical company, and his older brother AJ owns small businesses. But what about Chicago? Will he ever return? “I’m keeping my condo here,” he says. “I’m keeping that option open!”

Dr. Jha’s Career Highlights

After earning a BA in molecular cell biology at the University of California, Berkeley, Sachin “Sunny” Jha, was awarded his MS in biomedical sciences, followed by his MD, both from Eastern Virginia Medical School. He arrived in Chicago in 2012 to serve his residency in anesthesiology at Rush University Medical Center. He’s a member of CMS’ Public Health Committee, serves on the AMA House of Delegates, and is a board member of both the ISMS and the American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians.


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