Pursuit of a medical career lands Injury Express physician half a world away from home.

Posted on: February 23rd, 2023 by Lynne Pratt

Manoj Sreedharan, MD
Medical Director, Injury Express – Rockford

Growing up in a small, southern town in India without access to quality healthcare and after watching the show, Trauma: Life in the E.R. on the Discovery Channel, Manoj Sreedharan, MD, knew he wanted to practice medicine.

“Having seen so many accidents in my day-to-day life as a kid, I was fascinated with medicine and doctors. And watching the show provided such contrast compared to what I was used to seeing, which made me realize the potential of how medicine can be practiced,” said Dr. Sreedharan.

Dr. Sreedharan earned a merit-based scholarship to attend medical school at Hebei Medical University in Shijiazhuang, China as part of a collaboration between the two country’s governmental systems.

“I was always up for a challenge, so I accepted the scholarship,” said Dr. Sreedharan. “At the age of 17, I moved to China and learned a new language while studying medicine. I wasn’t even old enough to get my driver’s license or apply for a credit card.”

After earning his Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery degrees and completing an internship at a local hospital in Shijiazhuang, he moved to the United States where he completed his family medicine residency at the University of Illinois College of Medicine in Rockford, IL.

He chose to specialize in family medicine with additional training in emergency medicine because of his goal to one day participate in mission trips and travel to countries struggling to provide access to quality healthcare. In a changing medical landscape where there are many specialists and subspecialists, Dr. Sreedharan feels that he needs to know a little bit of everything to be able to help all his patients.

“U of I was the first place I interviewed, and they were very kind to me,” remembered Dr. Sreedharan. “I loved everything about the Rockford community and the accessibility to care in the area. I not only decided to do my residency in Rockford, but I’ve chosen to make it my home even though I have no family in the U.S.”

Dr. Sreedharan utilizes his extensive background in family and emergency medicine to serve as Medical Director at the OrthoIllinois Walk-In Injury Express clinic in Rockford, IL. The Injury Express clinic treats sprains, strains, fractures, cuts, and more on a walk-in basis.

“We strive to provide exceptional care to everyone who comes through our doors. Sometimes our patient injuries aren’t ortho-related,” said Dr. Sreedharan. “In fact, we were actually voted “Best Emergency Room” in the 2021 What Rocks Awards.”

What Rocks is a community choice awards contest in Rockford, IL where readers of the Rockford Register Star and can nominate and vote for their favorites Rockford organizations.

Dr. Sreedharan is grateful for OrthoIllinois, which allows him to guide a team of nurse practitioners and physician assistants while still performing hands-on procedures and assisting with casting, injections, reductions, and more. His philosophy of care is centered around calming nerves and easing fear in his patients.

“Patients need to have confidence in me as their physician. I sit next to them while talking through the diagnoses and next steps in terms that are understandable to them,” he explained. “I am in no hurry at that point because the patient’s care is the most important thing to me in that moment.”

His role at OrthoIllinois has also given him the opportunity to enjoy what matters most, spending quality time with his wife and son. After traveling the world to attend medical school and complete his residency, this will be the first time Dr. Sreedharan lives within a few miles of where he works.

When Dr. Sreedharan isn’t at work or with his family, he enjoys playing tennis, golf, biking, and spending time with his friends.

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