Sumun Khetpal, MD












Tell us about yourself!

I am currently a plastic and reconstructive surgery resident at the University of California – Los Angeles. Prior to residency, I attended medical school at Yale University and undergraduate at The Wharton School and the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania. As a junior at Penn, I co-founded Ride Health, a healthcare technology company that aims to alleviate the transportation barrier to care. More recently, I co-founded Theia, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that empowers women to transform healthcare through innovation and entrepreneurship.

What’s your favorite part about what you do?

I was drawn to plastic and reconstructive surgery due to its focus on improving the quality of life, its inherent creativity, and finally, its well-recognized tradition of innovation. I am humbled and grateful to enter a field that in so many ways, resembles entrepreneurship. The limitless and evolving nature of plastic surgery allows me to channel my creative spirit within the reconstruction of arteries, veins, nerves, muscle, and skin anywhere on the body and in patients of any age, background, or need.

How do you stay up-to-date with healthcare advancements and new innovations?

I often refer to key opinion leaders on Twitter for healthcare-related news. Fierce Biotech is great for biotech and life sciences. Startup Health is another great community resource for meeting entrepreneurs, building ideas, and securing investment.

What advice would you give to someone going into medicine?

Be patient-centric. With the increasing role of administrative work, formalities, and mere bureaucracy in medicine, I think it is very easy to forget the reason that you entered our field – to help patients. Hear their stories, their worries, their hopes, and do everything in your capacity to help them through this very difficult moment in their life. And who knows – perhaps your insight into one patient’s struggle may serve as inspiration to help thousands (or even millions) who share that same hardship.

What small lifestyle change have you made over the past year and half (during the pandemic) that’s made a difference for you?

The Coronavirus pandemic has undoubtedly impacted the way that we all interact. Amidst the social isolation, I made it a priority to (more freely) reach out and speak with investors and entrepreneurs who inspired me – whether through their start-up, investing philosophy, leadership skills, or personal journey. The result was “Spotlight on Women in Health Ventures,” a podcast that now showcases over twenty conversations with women who are changing healthcare and the life sciences for the better.