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Dr. Nidhee Sachdev: What Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month Means To Me

Dr. Nidhee Sachdev pictured next to her degrees at OC Fertility

I grew up in a Northern California town that was predominantly Asian. I was fortunate to have a rich cultural experience where, from an early age, I had an understanding of the differences in the cultures between my Chinese, Vietnamese, Japanese, Korean and Filipino friends.

It wasn't just physical appearance or last names that differentiated them, but the language, cultural traditions and food (!!!) that showed me how unique each culture was.

Why Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month is Important to Me

As a young kid, I knew that each culture had its own identity and much like my South Asian (East Indian) background was unique. I never considered them all to fit into one "Asian" category and always thought of each one as different and individual. 

In the last several years, it's been great to see that medical research, particularly women's health and fertility care, is incorporating ethnicity and racial disparity.

However, often these studies will incorporate all Asian/Pacific American (AAPI) patients in the same "Asian" category, effectively stripping each culture of its individuality.

Celebrating Similarities—While Embracing Differences

As a scientist, I understand that pooled data from population based studies allows for better comparisons (I was a kid who grew up being able to tell the difference between a Lumpia vs an egg roll vs spring roll); I see the heterogeneity within that singular Asian population group.

On the other hand, as a physician, I understand that each of those characteristics and qualities that makes each culture unique, has the potential to contribute to varying health differences and potentially outcomes when discussing health care treatment.

While more studies are definitely needed to understand how each ethnic group within the AAPI community has differing fertility issues and outcomes, here's hoping that AAPI Heritage Month allows people to learn how and why each culture is distinct from one another, and why those differences are important to understand.

Author
Dr. Nidhee Sachdev Dr. Nidhee Sachdev Nidhee Sachdev, MD has trained among the most prestigious and diverse medical programs in the country, including fellowship training in reproductive endocrinology and infertility at the prestigious New York University (NYU) Langone Fertility Center in New York City where she conducted research on preimplantation genetic screening (PGS) and the University of Chicago Medical Center, where she earned the academic distinction of chief resident in obstetrics and gynecology, and trained under a top recurrent pregnancy loss expert. Dr. Sachdev is passionate about providing individualized, collaborative patient care. She started her medical career right here in Orange County, earning her Doctor of Medicine at the University of California, Irvine, School of Medicine.

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