Dr. Kumar was recently featured on Fox 7 News Austin about his journey as an immigrant. You can watch the story here.
As lawmakers face pressure to find solutions to U.S. immigration systems, a familiar face to Good Day Austin, shares his journey as an immigrant.
Dr. Pradeep Kumar is a regular on Fox 7 Austin, his segment ‘Your Health with Doctor Kumar’ aims to educate people about their health.
It’s what you don’t see on TV that keeps him busy.
“All the work that we do that’s not in front of the patient, like take care of telephone calls, medication, reconciliation, refills,” Dr. Kumar says as he sits at his computer in his South Austin medical office with Austin Gastroenterology.
“I’m grateful for the patients that allow me to take care of their body, the thing that’s so essential to them. It’s humbling and I’m grateful,” Dr. Kumar said.
It’s a gratitude that resonates as he sees his home country struggling with the effects of the Delta Covid variant and the immigrant debate here at home.
“I was born in India, I left when I was 3.5, 4 years old,” Dr. Kumar says.
They landed in Canada before finally settling in Houston. Along the way, his parents made sure he knew the importance of education and hard work at an early age.
“I worked as a waiter, I worked as a dishwasher, I worked as a tutor, I did anything I could get every summer, even during the school year, I would work in order to get money to pay for my education,” Dr. Kumar remembers. “That’s where all the bulk of the money I made went to pay for my own education.”
Despite his parents being welcomed to the country as well-educated immigrants, he says he recognizes race and nationality were obstacles he faced in his journey to success.
“Take your skills, take your determination take your discipline and lift yourself up and out, you don’t have excuses, these obstacles, are obstacles, they’re not excuses,” Dr. Kumar says. “Get around them if they’re big and if they take a long time, take it, take a long time, dig deep and get around it because you could be successful.”
Dr. Kumar recognizes his journey hasn’t been easy, but he believes the challenges he’s faced in society aren’t intentional.
“It’s the act of omission, not commission,” Dr. Kumar said. “I think that the way racism sometimes evolves, is we just get forgotten.”
He admits, it’s hard as a parent to see his children looked over at times, but still finds grace for the people who may not see them.
“You just gravitate to what you know and you forget to include in the list, people of color, people that are different,” Dr. Kumar says. “It’s not a determined, deliberate thing, I believe. I think it’s just you forget and my thing would be don’t forget us.”
Dr. Kumar says his life mission is to continue helping people of all colors, genders and sizes educate themselves about the importance of health.
Dr. Kumar answers your health questions every Wednesday morning on Good Day, if you have a question for him, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org