2020 Top Doctor: Ajit Itty, M.D.

Editorial StaffMarch 19, 2020
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Photography by Steve Craft
Photography by Steve Craft

Emergency Medicine

Med School/Year Graduated: Mayo Medical School, 2007

Years in Practice: 10

What are some of the biggest misconceptions about emergency medicine specialists?

That we’re all adrenaline junkies. Though the stereotype fits some ER doctors, not all of us go into work craving it. I think a more accurate depiction is that we’re trained to stabilize whatever comes through our doors, whether that be a shooting, strokes or a stubbed toe.

What is one of the most memorable experiences in your career so far?

As the HonorHealth Osborn ER medical director, I was proud of the hospital’s response, the staff’s resilience and physicians’ leadership during the armed shooter incident outside of the ER [in January].

What inspired you to specialize in emergency medicine?

We see whoever walks through our doors. Regardless of their lot in life, people know that they will get care coming to [the] ER. The ER is the great equalizer. I can look across my ER and see a patient I just coded, next to a room that there was just a precipitous delivery, next to a stroke, next to a homeless gentleman down on his luck who just needed some life help.

Are you seeing the rise – or fall – of specific incidents or conditions among your patients?

Legislative actions to curb the opiate epidemic have started to stem the tide. Much more action and attention are needed, but we are beginning to see more resources and alternative routes in treating chronic pain, thus leading to fewer overdoses and drug dependence.

Have you ever been a patient in the emergency room?

A couple times with the usual stuff: broken bones. However, being the father of a nonverbal special-needs kiddo, I’ve been the parent of a patient not infrequently – which is definitely harder. You feel so helpless and realize quickly that the hardest thing being on the other end of the curtain is the wait, the unknown.

Name the best depiction of your field in TV or film that you’ve ever seen.

When people ask me if my job is like Grey’s Anatomy, I quip back that only if your neighborhood is like Desperate Housewives. A real ER has more comedy than Scrubs, more drama than ER, more complexity than House.

“If I wasn’t a doctor, I’d be…”

An astronaut. Unfortunately, too many broken bones and subpar vision precluded me from pursuing that dream.

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