Megana Dwarakanath, MD

No Picture in Find A Doc

Hometown: Randolph, NJ

College/Medical School: Smith College/Rutgers New Jersey Medical School

Residency: University of New Mexico 

Career/Research Interests

  • Substance use disorder
  • Juvenile justice
  • Social justice and health equity
  • Medical education
  • Global and rural health

Hobbies and Interests: Long distance running, drawing, creative writing, reading, cooking

S.O./Married/Kids/Pets: Rahul Vasireddy (husband, PGY-4 in psychiatry), 2 black and white New Mexican rescues, Milo and Jo

Travel/Languages: We really love to travel, especially with respect to eating. Pre-pandemic travel has been to Morocco, India, Chile, Singapore, and the Azores. I am hopeful we will be able to travel again in the future./I grew up speaking Kannada (not like the country north of us) and can fumble through French.

Likes About UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh: Really lovely faculty and staff, a wide range of patients, the city of Pittsburgh which seems so lush and green

It felt inevitable that I would end up in Pittsburgh from the moment I landed in the middle of a beautiful fall and the passenger next to me welcomed me to my new home. I had a significant flight delay after already being graciously scheduled for a very last-minute interview, so I knew at once how much the program staff cared about its community.

I was born in New Jersey and stayed there for medical school but decided to leave my east coast roots for New Mexico after a lovely month’s rotation at an Indian Health Service hospital in Zuni, NM my third year of medical school.

Adolescent medicine was the reason I entered medicine because I saw it as the perfect melding of social justice and health care. My particular clinical interest – which started in medical school and continued as I worked in a medical home for those formerly in the juvenile justice system in residency – has been the management of substance use disorders (SUD) in the young adult population. There is very little training and mentorship in pediatrics regarding substance use disorders in general, so coming here for my interview day and meeting with Dr. Wilson who is trained in addiction medicine and is leading the creation of a clinic for young people with SUD was so encouraging.

The department as a whole is committed to constantly learning, growing, and supporting one another – and that now means all faculty will obtain a waiver. I think it speaks a lot to a program that any new idea not only welcomed but truly fostered. I feel grateful to be here.