Sareena Jaspal Chopra is a pediatrician who loves yoga, the outdoors and making delicious nutritious meals.
Q: What does a typical day in your life look like?
Soon after waking up I think about at least one thing that I am grateful for. This gets my mind in a good space to meditate. Depending on my schedule I try to meditate for a short while before I start my day. I strive to do some basic yoga poses to stretch my body if time permits. On a work day I may have to visit the hospital to examine newborns. Seeing parents bond with their newborns is a beautiful way to start the day. Then I am off to the office to see pediatric outpatients. The day is filled with patients who range from newborns to young adults. Working with kids and their parents is an absolute delight and is very rewarding. After seeing patients, I head home and try to spend some time outside soaking in nature. I make all attempts to do yoga or get in some exercise to make me sweat. My day ends with some slow deep breathing exercises.
Q: How did you choose your career path?
My desire to become a pediatrician began when I was 11 years old attending boarding school in the foothills of the Himalayas. I was dehydrated and had to spend time in the school infirmary to receive intravenous fluids. During my stay I watched the pediatrician on staff at school run a clinic to care for children from the slums. The interaction between the kids and the doctor was precious. Her compassion and dedication to helping children left such an impression on me that I decided to become a pediatrician.
Q: What do you do for fun? What are your favorite hobbies?
I cherish any opportunity to travel. My last trip to the south of France with my husband inspired me to learn French. I enjoy hiking and long walks especially near the water. Snowboarding puts me in a really happy space. I thrive when I maintain my yoga practice. I also have a special interest in food and nutrition. I am fond of attempting to cook with colorful farm fresh produce.
Q: What is your favorite piece of clothing?
I know it is not fancy or chic but my favorite piece of clothing is my hoodie. Whether I'm going to the farmers market, yoga, running errands or meal with friends, my go-to layer is a hoodie. Thin, thick, wool, cotton, cashmere or with bling, my hoodie is essential. I usually don't travel without one.
Q: What advice do you have for young women who are just starting their careers?
I know this may sound cliche but follow your heart. If you are passionate - whatever you do - you will do it with a strong sense of self and with all of your creativity and strengths. Be present - it will keep you engaged in each moment. Being mindful will help you adapt and grow during challenging times. Take time to refuel - it will energize you to face any roadblocks that may arise. Finally two don'ts: don't take anything personally and don't compromise your integrity.