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Vikram N. Palkar, D.O. Story of Learning, Love and Friendship

A St. John’s Residency Alumni Story

St. John’s Episcopal Hospital Class of 2015 graduate Vikram N. Palkar, D.O., always knew he wanted to go into medicine because of his strong desire to help people. Little did he know he would meet his future wife during his residency at St. John’s and form many bonds with colleagues that he hopes will last throughout his life.

Palkar, born in Bridgetown Barbados, grew up in South Florida. He attended college at the University of Florida and attended medical school at the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine. It was during college that he realized he wanted to be a vascular surgeon.

“I was fortunate to be mentored by several fantastic vascular surgeons,” said Palkar, who finds vascular surgery to be a challenge that he enjoys. “This patient group is typically quite ill from the many issues that contribute to their vascular disease, and they suffer greatly from their many concurrent medical issues. To be able to alleviate some of this suffering and treat their illnesses is very gratifying to me,” he said.

Palkar began a surgical residency at St. John’s Episcopal Hospital in 2010, and met his wife, Asma Ahmed, D.O., during their intern year. “We had a large group of mutual friends who we would spend a significant amount of time with, both in and outside of the hospital,” tells Palkar. Initially, Ahmed was in the Family Practice residency program at St. John’s. She later moved on to the Dermatology program when Palkar was in his 4th year of surgical residency. Today, Ahmed is a board certified dermatologist practicing at the Schweiger Dermatology Group. Palkar feels that working side-by-side with Asma for many years fostered and strengthened their relationship. “I was very lucky to have met her at St. John’s,” he said.

Following St. John’s, Palkar accepted a fellowship at the Deborah Heart & Lung Center in New Jersey. “One of the vascular surgeons that mentored me during med school was the program director at Deborah when I was applying. I wanted to continue working with him and his colleagues. I also knew that the program had excellent capabilities, along with great case volume and variety,” said Palkar.

After completing his fellowship, Palkar joined Deborah in August of 2017 as the new Associate Vascular and General Surgeon. This new beginning did not mean the end of his connection to St. John’s. In fact, quite the contrary. He has become a pipeline between Deborah’s surgery fellowship program and new SJEH graduates, encouraging them to apply. SJEH class of 2016 graduate Javed A. Mohammed, D.O. completed a fellowship at Deborah and is now an attending vascular surgeon there. Mehul Joshi, SJEH class of 2018, is currently a first year fellow.

What stands out most to Palkar about St. John’s? He says the rare and meaningful bonds and relationships created at St. Johns, between he and his wife, and their many friends and colleagues that continue to this day. “The environment at St. John’s was very conducive to learning, team work, and a general collegial atmosphere that makes it very easy to form lasting friendships with the people that you worked with and spent so many hours around. Hopefully, they will last throughout our lifetimes,” said Palkar.

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