Sunday, April 18th, 2021

Shopper Client Stories


by Rob Lauer

Anil Nair, MD

Anil Nair, MD

For Anil Nair, MD, practicing medicine is first and foremost about helping others.

“My mom was a nurse for 30 years and was my role model,” he explains. “She always enjoyed interacting with people and caring for them. That made an impression on me early on. I always had an interest in science, but what drew me into medicine was the opportunity to help people.”

A native of New York City, Dr. Nair grew up in the Forest Hills section of Queens. After high school, he completed his undergraduate work at Binghamton University and then attended medical school at the University at Buffalo. He completed internal medicine training at UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and, after his residency, joined a primary care practice in Manchester, Connecticut.

“Practicing internal medicine, you treat a broad range of patients—people of all ages,” Dr. Nair explains. “From the start, I loved that variety. There are different dynamics when interacting with people of various ages. I have always felt that I connect particularly well with older patients who are typically dealing with a number of complex age-related issues.”

“First and foremost, patients
want to be heard; they want to be
taken seriously and feel that their doctor
is just as concerned about their condition as they are.”
                                                          —Anil Nair, MD

“I worked with the practice in Connecticut for 10 years,” Dr. Nair notes. “I had great patients, but as time went on, the corporate side of the practice became more of a challenge. I started to become disenchanted. What I had always enjoyed most about being a doctor were the people—getting to know my patients and understanding them as individuals. Being a doctor is about so much more than running tests and reviewing the results. It’s about human connections. But medicine has changed over the years. The personal connection that is so essential to the patient/physician relationship is being lost as more and more practices become part of large corporate entities. In Connecticut, it finally got to the point where I knew that I had to make a change. I wanted to find that personal element again.

“My wife, Preethi, had finished training in pediatric dentistry, and though she had some options in Connecticut, we both decided to look for opportunities to practice elsewhere,” Dr. Nair continues. “Our search including looking here in Hampton Roads, where we found tremendous opportunities.”

One of the opportunities presented to Dr. Nair was an interview with Chesapeake Internists, Ltd.  His first contact with the practice was Christine Higgins, MD., and at once, he felt that he had connected with a kindred spirit. That feeling only intensified as he met the other physicians on staff at Chesapeake Internists: each of them believed that a practice should be a patient’s “Personal Medical Home,” where the physician/patient relationship is central.

Dr. Julius Miller, who joined the practice in 1991, is fond of saying:“I think a physician is part bartender, part priest, part mom, part coach. As a doctor, you must have the patients’ trust. They must feel comfortable with you; they must feel as if they can open up to you. In the process, we get to know people better than many others do. We learn things they’d never tell anyone else. That is such an honor.”

Dr. Nair officially joined the staff of Chesapeake Internists in December and has been continually impressed by their dedication to patient care. “The team here works hard. Not only do they sincerely care about their patients, but they are very forward-thinking and stay up to date on all the latest developments in medicine.”

When he is not seeing patients, Dr. Nair loves spending time with Preethi and their six-year-old daughter, Ananya. “We’re pretty much homebodies,” he smiles. “We enjoy exercising, playing games together, and relaxing with good books.”

What does this native New Yorker think of life in the Old Dominion?

“I’m impressed by how many friendly people there are here,” Dr. Nair says with a laugh. “My patients in New England were great people—I wish I could have taken them with me when we moved—but in many ways, it’s a different world up there. Northeasterners don’t wave to each other on the street. While growing in New York City, when someone approached me on the street, it was usually to ask for money.  When we first moved here, it took a while to break those old patterns and realize that when people said ‘Hello’ in passing or waved to me from across the street, it was because they were genuinely friendly.”

“I have always felt that I connect particularly well with older patients who are typically dealing with a number of complex age-related issues.”
                                                       —Anil Nair, MD

Genuine friendliness is also on display at Chesapeake Internists. “What patients will find here is a warm personal element,” Dr. Nair points out. “I can’t tell you how many times I hear our patients say: ‘I loved my previous doctor, but I couldn’t stand his staff. I love your staff, though! If I call with an issue, they get me right in to see someone. I have questions; they give me answers.’ Our patients say these things because the people on our staff are friendly and personable. They take the time to get to know patients and honestly care about them. I think that personal touch is what sets us apart from other practices.”

“When you’re in residency, you learn about the personal aspects of patient care but only to a certain extent,” Dr. Nair continues. “Once you begin working in the field, that’s when the learning really begins. First and foremost, patients want to be heard; they want to be taken seriously and feel that their doctor is just as concerned about their condition as they are. That personal connection is vital. When a practice becomes a corporation, that connection is often lost.”

“I pride myself on my ability to get along with people,” Dr. Nair concludes. “Over the past 10 years, patients have often said to me, ‘You always stay so calm.’ I take that as a great compliment because it is intentional. When people have concerns about their health, they need a knowledgeable, calming presence. It strengthens the relationship. They understand that no matter what issues might arise, you will be there to help them.”

For Dr. Nair and everyone at Chesapeake Internists, Ltd., helping others is what medicine is all about.

Chesapeake Internists, Ltd.

113 Gainsborough Square
Chesapeake, VA 23320