Dharmesh Patel, M.D.

Chief Executive Officer

Tops in America

As Dr. Dharmesh Patel enters the room, you can immediately feel a genuine warmth; a vibrant sense of positive energy emanating from this most charismatic person. His story is the typical American success story, with many unwritten chapters yet to be told. We’ve seen it before with Irish, Polish, Italian or Vietnamese immigrants, coming to America with little or nothing in search of the American dream. Dr. Patel’s story begins the same way, but in the nation of India.
 “My father taught me how to do the plumbing, the electrical, the carpentry, the roofing, the flooring, and how to take apart and put together a car engine,”
As for little Dharmesh, he was left as an 8 year-old to ride the Chicago metro city bus in the dead of the Chicago winters to get to school, by himself. And yet, as he relates this part of his story, sitting in his modestly appointed offices in Houston’s Galleria area, there’s no resentment, there’s no need to relate to the listener or the challenges of his childhood . There’s an unusually peaceful acceptance with Dr. Patel of the path he has followed, and the resulting success. Only, you realize equally fast that his definition of success is not measured on a balance sheet; rather, it is about the inner-man and depth of character it produced. And you sense his appreciation and understanding of this without him murmuring a single word. Stranger still, is the character of the man who helps lead the rapidly-expanding Neighbors Emergency Centers company, “We strive to be the best physicians for our patients and their families,” Dr. Patel says, as he looks directly into your eyes.
“We believe we should focus on why we are doctors, and not just on the dollars and cents.”
Dr. Patel says, in the flow of conversation, not bragging, but obviously proud of the time invested by his dad to make Dharmesh as self-sufficient as possible. Over 25 years ago, Dr. Patel’s uncle urged Dharmesh’s dad to leave India and come to Chicago. It’s hard for most to understand what it must have felt like for the elder Patel to arrive in America, looking for opportunity while towing his wife and two kids along into what was at first nothing but uncertainty. But even harder to imagine, is what it was like as Dr. Patel’s mom and dad worked several jobs each, in an effort to make a better life for themselves and their children.
These are not words meant to impress a Time Magazine audience.  It is one of the founding principles which guides the direction of a fast-growing, well positioned medical operation in a time of national upheaval in the medical industry. He communicates how the team that leads Neighbors came together almost by accident but has managed to keep what Dr. Patel calls, “A Pay It Forward” sense about their business. “I still see patients almost every day,” says Dr. Patel, who lights up with his infectious smile when he speaks about his love of medicine. “We don’t want to forget why we are doctors… to help people…”. We are proud to announce Dr. Patel as one of the Top 20 Doctors in Texas for 2014.
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