Spotlight on Dr. Pradeep Gidwani, MD, MPH, FAAP

HOPE Series: Emotional Growth
August 31, 2021
24th Annual San Diego Pediatric School Health Conference
October 13, 2021

Dr. Pradeep Gidwani, MD, MPH, FAAP is a pediatrician and community health leader. He received his BA in Anthropology from Northwestern University and worked for the National Commission to Prevent Infant Mortality in Washington, DC and for the Centers for Disease Control prior to medical school. He received his Doctor of Medicine degree from George Washington University in Washington, DC and completed his pediatric residency at Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Cincinnati, OH. Additionally, Dr. Gidwani completed a Pediatrics Health Services Research fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and earned a Master’s in Public Health degree at Harvard School of Public Health.

AAP-CA3: What are your current professional responsibilities?

Dr. Gidwani: I work as the Medical Director of the AAP-CA3 team that provides countywide coordination and support for two large-scale community initiatives – Healthy Development Services and First Step Home Visiting, funded by First 5 San Diego. I am proud to say that these community-wide programs have reached more than 25,000 children annually for the last 10 years. I am a Child Trauma Academy Fellow and member of the Child Health Leadership Network through the Annie E. Casey and David and Lucile Packard Foundations. I am also a member of the Board Governors at the San Diego Foundation and serve on community advisory boards including the National Advisory Committee of Healthy Families America and the State Advisory Board for California Nurse Family Partnership. I also teach at San Diego State University in the Department of Child and Family Development.

AAP-CA3: How has the AAP-CA3 Chapter played a role in your life?

Dr. Gidwani: When I moved to San Diego in 2000, I began my local career by working on various hospital projects related to asthma, juvenile detention, and urgent care. By 2006, I began working with AAP-CA3 in what continues to be my current professional role. I was fortunate to become a past president of the AAP-CA3 and have many wonderful memories of the experience. Currently, I support the chapter as the Co-Chair of the Developmental Behavioral Peds Committee. I see the AAP-CA3 chapter as an incredible resource for supporting pediatricians. Pediatricians are caring and overall great people to work with. Although I don’t practice direct patient care, I truly see the community as my patient. I hope to continue to make a positive impact in the lives of the pediatricians in our local chapter and their patients.

AAP-CA3: What does the AAP mean to you?

Dr. Gidwani: The AAP goals align with my personal interest in creating systematic solutions and changes to improve the lives of children and their families. My personal and professional interests include advocating resources beyond screenings to support child development, infant and early childhood mental health, childhood trauma, and cultural issues in health care. I appreciate that the AAP advocates for more than the bottom line versus other medical associations. The AAP provides a level of community and comradery amongst pediatricians that is quite unique. To know that I have been connected both locally and nationally with so many incredible and inspiring pediatricians for the past 15 years is reassuring that I made a good decision to become an AAP fellow.

AAP-CA3: Did you have a mentor who influenced you to become the physician that you are now?

Dr. Gidwani: Locally, Dr. Gene Nathan has been an incredible mentor to me over the years. I appreciated his outside the box thinking with topics like complementary alternative medicine. It was a great experience to get him involved and connected in AAP-CA3, we started the Healthy Development Services initiative together and he is also a past president of AAP-CA3. Gene is an incredibly thoughtful person who I am personally thankful to know.

AAP-CA3: What do you like to do in your spare time?

Dr. Gidwani: I love food! I especially love food in San Diego. The small “mom and pop” shops are filled with delicious food and incredibly nice people. I also love to read, meditate (20 years of meditating!), and play with my active German Shepard.