Family Doctor Enjoys Serving the Community that Shaped Him   

Family Doctor Enjoys Serving the Community that Shaped Him

Dr. Mihir Patel

Although he spent nine years of his childhood in India, for Mihir M. Patel, M.D., Ocean County, New Jersey is home. The family medicine provider at Jackson Family Medicine and Ocean University Medical Center enjoys giving back to his neighbors and his neighborhood.

“I grew up in the same 10-mile radius of where I practice now,” he says. “It’s rewarding to give back to the same community I grew up in.”

Shortly before he was born in Perth Amboy, New Jersey, Dr. Patel’s parents immigrated to the U.S. from India. When he was 9 months old, he went back to India to live with his grandparents while his parents built up their family business. When he returned to the states, he spent his teenage years working in his family’s convenience store and finding his place in a new culture. Conversing with hundreds of customers every day, he not only learned English but learned how to connect and build relationships with people.

Dr. Patel was a member and chief resident of the first family medicine residency class at Ocean and stayed as an attending physician. The skills he learned while growing up in the family business have been especially important in his practice, where Dr. Patel sees patients from all walks of life.

What inspired you to become a doctor?

Honestly, the genuine interest in helping people. Growing up in a third-world country and seeing people’s constant struggle, I wanted to be in a position to help people. I didn't know how I wanted to help, but as I finished school, my path became clear.

Why did you choose family medicine?

I chose family medicine because of the opportunity to build long-term relationships with patients. I get to help people, talk to them and have relationships for years and years. Through that bond, I can prevent diseases. I take time to explain what diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol are and what they can do to a person. I see, so often, that because of a lack of understanding of these conditions, there’s a lack of compliance with treatment. I’ve noticed that going in depth with counseling has been a huge success. I’m passionate about taking the time to talk about that.

What are your go-to ways of staying healthy?

The key to a healthy diet is planning. I typically use Sundays to plan and prep my meals for the week. Planning and prepping prevents settling for an unhealthy meal and eating out. My meals consist of complex carbohydrates, protein and healthy fats. My favorite go-to healthy snacks are sliced apples, berries, nuts and peanut butter.

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