2022 Top Doctor: Arpita Surkunte, M.D.

Editorial StaffMarch 3, 2022
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Photography by Steve Craft
Photography by Steve Craft

Obesity Medicine

Med School/Year Graduated: Lokmanya Tikal Municipal Medical College, 2002

Years in Practice: 16

Explain how obesity medicine is distinct from bariatric surgery, which is also a Top Docs category and also focused on weight loss.

[It’s] a specialty where physicians can treat obesity without surgery using the four pillars of weight management: nutrition, exercise, behavior changes and medication, when appropriate and necessary.

Do you see yourself as a primary health doctor or a specialist?

I see myself as a specialist, as obesity is a complex medical condition with associated comorbidities [like diabetes and high blood pressure]. It needs special expertise and years of experience to treat. I exclusively practice obesity medicine.

You have two children. How do you teach them about nutrition and health?

My passion is to raise kids that like nutritious food. Shopping for groceries, meal planning and [organizing] homemade healthy lunch boxes are some daily routines we enjoy as a family. We also set aside Sundays as our family time to cook and bond together. Early introduction of plant-based foods and empowerment of children is a must.

Do you share recipes with patients?

Sure, we have healthy recipes that we share with our patients on a daily basis and encourage them to explore all cuisines and antioxidant-rich spices [like cardamon and coriander] . Sweet is not the only flavor. My patients fondly call me Dr. S, and we often speak about several food items that can replace sugar. Dr. S’s favorite flavors include spices and herbs of all kinds.

Besides cooking, what kind of hobbies and interests do you have outside medicine?

Traveling, dancing and spending time with my family and puppy.

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

The documentary film The Game Changers.

What are you watching on Netflix these days?

Lots of Bollywood movies and Friends.

“If I wasn’t a doctor, I’d be…” 

An engineer in artificial intelligence.


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