DPM and The DPM Foundation serve our members and communities with our four pillars: Selflessness, Sisterhood, Unity, and Community.
In December of 2015, Dr. Vidya R. Bansal founded Desi Physician Moms (DPM) of the US/Canada. The term “Desi” refers to a person with heritage from the Indian Subcontinent including the countries and diaspora of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, and Maldives. This Facebook group was created on December 29, 2015 with 14 members on its first day and rapidly grew to over 2500 members in its first 3 months, currently supporting over 7000 members, each fully vetted and verified as a residency trained, licensed MD or DO in the US/Canada. It was formed to provide a social network for uniting Desi Physician Women of all backgrounds and specifically for support in regards to work/family balance, immigration issues, and maintaining Desi culture while residing in North America and assimilating into Western culture. DPM also serves as a rapid response forum for seeking medical advice and consults both within North America as well as internationally for family members and friends. We welcome any licensed physician woman who has a special love and appreciation for Desi culture regardless of race, religion, marital status, mothers as well as moms-at-heart, without regard to which continent she spent her childhood.
DPM was founded to promote unity among Desi Physician Women, embracing our diversity in religion, language, nationality, culture, and place of birth/childhood. A special aspect of Desi culture and pride is selflessness, and we have seen countless selfless acts of kindness every day in small ways and in great. Our members grew into bonding with one another and no longer consider themselves to belong to a Facebook group, but rather a tight sisterhood of love and support, a sisterhood in which one can seek advice and guidance without judgement, in a forum of women bonded in similar struggles and challenges. Because each of us is a licensed physician, we have dedicated ourselves to serving others in the medical profession, and DPM fosters further involvement in our communities. With unity and selflessness, our sisterhood will go on to share our culture and charity with the community beyond what we provide on a daily basis with our medical training and commitment.
Due to the enormous growth of this Facebook group and increasing needs for social awareness and advocacy, the not for profit 501(c)3 DPM Foundation was created. 100% of money generated through donations and every day shopping via our partner stores goes towards assisting a DPM sister in an emergency situation involving domestic abuse, supporting charitable organizations for promoting Desi women’s issues, and will allow us to grow and reach more Desi Physician Women to foster our four pillars of Selflessness, Sisterhood, Unity, and Community.
Our Foundation Team and Executive Committee
Vidya Ramakrishnaiah Bansal, MD
Founder/Executive Director of Desi Physician Moms of the US/Canada and DPM Foundation
Dr. Vidya Bansal MD, FAAP is a board certified pediatrician, wife, mom, and daughter to immigrant parents. When she began her career as a Desi Physician Woman she immediately noticed the challenges of being a woman practicing medicine in the US, and especially as a Desi female physician. After a post-partum cardiac complication 5 days after her delivery, multiple experiences of sexism and racism in the workplace, and sexism from much younger male in-laws, she felt isolated but decided she must not be alone in these experiences. When unable to find a support group for South Asian Physician Women/Mothers in North America, she launched Desi Physician Moms of the US/Canada in December 2015, the first of its kind in North America. When numerous members almost immediately started to send her confidential messages regarding domestic abuse, workplace and family struggles, and health matters, she dedicated herself to bringing the issues affecting Desi physician women in North America out of the darkness and into the sunlight for awareness, discussion, and empowerment for our women and our communities of all people.
When not being a pediatrician or managing DPM, she enjoys cooking, interior decorating, traveling, and snuggling with her son.
Arvinder Thiara, MD
DPM Fitness and Nutrition Admin, DPMathon Co-Director
Dr. Arvinder Thiara is a pediatrician, practicing Full-time outpatient clinic in Lodi, California. She lives in this beautiful and quiet small town with her husband and 2 children. Being a pediatrician was her dream for as long as she can remember. She finds it rewarding to take care of children and help them turn into healthy, responsible adults.
She strongly believes that empowering women creates ideal environments for children and communities to thrive. Since DPM foundation is here for women as they go through difficult times, she feels honored to serve this vulnerable population through the Foundation.
Dr. Thiara is our DPM Fitness and Nutrition group admin. On a daily basis, her commitment to the physical and emotional wellness of our members through group challenges, strength training safety, nutrition, weight loss, and water intake guidance, and spiritual insight discussions brings an immeasurable wealth of personal growth to our members, and extends to their families, colleagues, and patients. This commitment helps fulfill our pillar of “Community” which begins with enhancing the lives of our members who in turn care for others. Dr. Thiara reminds us on a daily basis why this self care is not only helpful, it is mandatory for the wellness of our families and society. Dr. Thiara is also the co-director of our annual DPMathon, which in 2019 raised over $40,000 for FFLI, rescuing and rehabilitating victims of human sex trafficking at the India-Nepal border.
Preeti Singh, MD FAAP
Co-Executive Director of Desi Physician Moms of the US/Canada and DPM Foundation
Dr. Preeti Singh is a neonatologist currently practicing in Tupelo, Mississippi. She loves taking care of the smallest of the small and sick newborns and supporting their families. Her passion for helping and empowering females fits very well with the goals of the DPM Foundation. She likes traveling, dancing, and adventure sports. She lives with her husband and her four year old little man. All of her immediate family is in India, but she feels lucky to be surrounded by a lot of friends and the DPM family.
Dr. Singh launched our first Giving Tuesday Campaign in 2017 which raised over $25,000 for the DPM Foundation and helped launch our Domestic Abuse Grant Program in collaboration with the Honorable Gold Star Father Mr. Khizhr Khan. Her enthusiasm and dedication began the tradition of our annual fundraiser with raffle prizes donated by our DPM Bazaar vendors, including gold, saris, clutches, and much more. Dr. Singh was also the Co-Director of 2018 DPM LIVE Retreat and CME, “Leadership, Wellness, and Empowerment for the Desi Female Physician”, hosting the family of “Meet the Patels” and Mumbai terrorist attacks survivor and inspirational speaker/author Linda Ragsdale. Her role as Co-Director of DPM and the DPM Foundation has elevated our activities and advocacy to its current level of status and recognition.
Milli Jain, MD
DPM Bazaar Admin
Dr. Milli Gupta is an endocrinologist, working in a group practice in Munster, Indiana.
Besides endocrinology, she is passionate about holistic living, fashion/beauty, gardening with the purpose of growing food (and engaging her daughters), and reading books/writing up her thoughts. She has a special interest in learning about the ancient wisdom in various cultures and especially the Indian ways of living that are worth following in contemporary times. She loves to collect sarees with traditional weaves, heirloom jewelry, and regional traditional recipes for Indian vegetarian cooking. She feels strongly about challenges faced by the Desi woman in and outside her country. She is also inspired by NGO groups/creative individuals working to provide solutions to environmental problems.
Dr. Gupta’s love of Desi fashion and trends combined with her devotion to charitable causes make her the perfect liaison in the trifecta of DPM, the DPM Foundation, and our DPM Bazaar vendors. WIth her passion for all 3, she brings DPM members items which would normally require travel to India or Pakistan straight to their doorstep from our DPM vendors. Through the DPM Bazaar, funds are generated for charitable causes, and raffles are donated by vendors which are used for DPMF’s fundraisers. Dr. Gupta manages the DPM Bazaar along with Dr. Misir.
Nalini Misir, MD
DPM Diyas and Divas Admin, DPM Bazaar AdminDr. Misir is the DPM Diyas and Divas admin, a group created in 2015 for DPM’s single mothers, in troubled relationships, or happily remarried and offering support to others. As a board certified psychiatrist as well as having personal experience, she brings not only a professional opinion but also a personal strength to our Diyas and Divas. This small but uniquely powerful group of dedicated members brought together by Dr. Misir are some of DPM’s most compassionate women who not only endured and survived, but opened their experiences to improve the lives of other struggling DPMs, fulfilling DPM’s pillars of Sisterhood and Selflessness. Dr. Misir is also a co-admin for the DPM Bazaar along with Dr. Gupta.
Meenakshi Pande, MD
DPMasks Co-Director, DPMathon Co-Director
Dr. Meenakshi Pande is an Endocrinologist at MUSC in Florence SC. She was born in India to parents who speak different languages and her family also moved through many places. For this she is thankful because she is fluent in several languages. She is married to Amit and they have two wonderful children who she claims to have parented by learning on the job!
In her (make believe) spare time, she loves to read, solve Sudokus and crosswords and enjoys listening to all genres of music especially classical Indian Carnatic and Hindustani. Much later in life after the kids have grown she has taken up working on physical fitness and has been at it as a permanent work in progress.
She has enjoyed knowing and connecting with other Desi physician moms who have similar interests and experiences but also who have different perspectives as well. This forum has helped her learn a lot about many things trivial and deep.
She is grateful to be part of this inspiring sisterhood of DPM.
Busy lives need light-hearted intermissions, quick advice, philosophical approaches and help with ‘retail’ therapies as well. Her goal is to continue to contribute to this community of problem solvers who are also full time mothers and happen to double their day job as physicians.
She looks forward to be able to help use this platform to reach out and help those in need of kindness. Dr. Pande is co-director of the DPMask project, supplying over 30,000 masks to physicians, direct patient care staff, and high risk patients. She also helped lead the 2019 3rd Annual DPMathon, raising over $40,000 to help rescue and rehabilitate victims of human sex trafficking at the India-Nepal border.
Neha Saraiya, MD
DPM Desi Community Liaison
Dr. Neha Saraiya is a board certified pediatrician and a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics. She received her MD from University of Illinois in 2001. She completed her Pediatrics training at UMDNJ/Robert Wood Johnson Medical School: RWJ Bristol Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital and St. Peters University Hospital in New Brunswick, NJ in 2004. She has worked in central NJ in private practice since completing her residency. While in practice she has seen childhood obesity, poor nutrition and an increase in food allergies in South Asians. In 2008 her own 1 year old daughter was diagnosed with severe life threatening food allergies to all nuts, dairy, and eggs. She realized the challenges associated with a diagnosis of food allergies, especially in the Asian Indian diet and recognized the need for education and advocacy for those affected with food allergies. She subsequently began a home based bakery business for specialty allergen free baked goods to the local community. She is active in the NJ chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics. She has interest in child health/nutrition/obesity and food allergies. She is a member of the Food Allergy Research and Education organization, Allergy and Asthma support group of Central NJ and has spoken on the topic of food allergies. Living in NJ with a large South Asian population she serves on the SKN Foundation board to help promote total wellness of the South Asia community in NJ. She focuses efforts on special needs children and diabetes in the South Asian population. It is a natural transition to join and be a part of DPM Foundation with a continued focus in the South Asian community. Interests lie in empowering girls and women and supporting education. She feels passionate about assisting women undergoing domestic violence in these communities.
Dr. Saraiya is DPM’s liaison to the Desi political community, bridging our members’ concerns with policy makers. Her activity in local Desi organizations as a board member ties DPM to other community members to bring positive change by working together. Her personal relationship with many members through anonymous posts that continues privately is DPM’s walk along the road of struggle on a personal basis with our members, when they may not feel comfortable disclosing issues sensitive to their health, marriage, family, or work, but still need advice and guidance from DPM members and the DPM Team.