Dr. Nandini Kulkarni completed her undergraduate medical training in 2000 after five and a half rigorous years in one of the premier institutions in India with a distinction in Surgery and a gold medal in ENT. She completed three years of surgical residency followed by two years of training in surgical oncology in Mumbai. She was amongst the top 7% residents who are able successfully complete their Diplomate National Board exam in General Surgery. She was also amongst a select group of 12 fellows from hundreds of applicants chosen for residency at Tata Memorial Center, one of the top stand-alone cancer centers in India that provides service to patients from all over India, as well as South East Asia. She made numerous presentations at an intra and interdepartmental level on topics as varied as the recent trends in lung cancer therapy to the role of Cytokeratins in head and neck cancer. Her analysis of a breakthrough article in gastric cancer prompted a discussion that took the form of comments published in The Lancet Oncology journal. She streamlined the process of data entry by creating a common database in SPSS format, thus providing a simplified source of information for what was in reality a very complex audit.
Her career trajectory moved to the USA in 2007, motivated by a desire to further her interest in Surgical Oncology. She completed her surgical residency at Abington Memorial Hospital, Abington, PA. She excelled in all aspects of her training, whether it was academics, surgical technique, bedside manners, or intensive care. She was well loved by her patients and colleagues. She was awarded the star of excellence award for exceptional patient care. Her superiors admired her for her grit and determination. This was mirrored in the additional responsibilities assigned to, and the trust they placed in her. She was Education Chief in her final year of residency, and in this capacity was responsible for designing and executing the academic curriculum for the entire residency for the whole year. She received the Rosenfeld scholar award for academic excellence. While in Abington, she also became facile in all aspects of minimally invasive surgery.
Dr. Kulkarni then applied for and secured a SSO (Society of Surgical Oncology) fellowship in Complex General Surgical Oncology at Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia. This is one of the oldest cancer centers in the USA, and its recent affiliation with Temple University allowed the program to be ACGME accredited, thus making her eligible to be double boarded. Her experience at Fox Chase included a high volume of extremely complex liver resections, pancreatic surgery, gastric resections, complex colon and rectal surgery, including robotic resections, melanoma and other skin cancers as well as head and neck cancers. She has numerous research articles and national presentations to her credit during this time, as well as a book chapter on melanoma in Surgical Oncology Clinics of North America.
Her two final years of fellowship end a total of 12 years of surgical training. She is board certified in General Surgery and board eligible in Surgical Oncology. She is a member of various organizations, including the Society of Surgical Oncology, Association of Academic Surgeons, American Society of Clinical Oncology and American Medical Association. She combines her passion for learning and research with genuine concern for bettering the experience of patients suffering from cancer. We look forward to the new energy she will bring to New Jersey Health Network.