Pratistha Koirala, MD, PhD, was elected to the American Medical Association Board of Trustees in June 2021. Dr. Koirala is a gynecologic oncology fellow at Fox Chase Cancer Center and Temple University in Philadelphia.
Dr. Koirala’s health care journey began thousands of miles away, in Nepal, in the foothills of the tallest mountains in the world. In pursuit of education her family immigrated to the United States when she was a child. Her family story, of poverty and a lack of access to health care, inspired her to become a physician. Years later, as a medical student in the Bronx, she cared for patients living in the poorest congressional district in the United States. After witnessing the impact of social determinants of health on both a population and at an individual patient level, she became active in health policy, aiming to better the health and well-being of her community.
When she joined the AMA as a medical student, one of her first endeavors was celebrating and promoting the organization’s accomplishments as a membership recruitment chair. Since then, Dr. Koirala has served in multiple leadership roles in organized medicine; notably, she was a member of the Executive Council of the Medical Society of the State of New York and served on the board of directors of the AMA Political Action Committee.
Dr. Koirala attended college at the University of Connecticut and graduated with a major in biology. She completed her MD, her MS in genetics, and her PhD in molecular pharmacology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Her research has ranged from understanding the role of immune checkpoint inhibitors in sarcoma to the genetic basis of cardiac development. She completed residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Danbury Hospital and a health equity fellowship at Boston Medical Center. As a physician scientist, Dr. Koirala understands the power the AMA has as a trusted voice in medicine and public health.
Dr. Koirala’s work and accomplishments within the AMA reflect the value she places in diversity in medicine and health equity. Her actions and advocacy are driven by her personal story as an immigrant, as someone who has lived in poverty, as a woman, as a scientist, and as a trainee working with underserved populations.
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