PFCC Star of the Month: Dr. Indra Gupta, Pediatric Nephrologist


Each month, one of our peers is recognized for their approach to patient and family-centered care (PFCC) with the PFCC Star award. Doris De Melo, July’s PFCC Star, nominated Dr. Indra Gupta for this month’s award.

Doris has worked with Dr. Gupta for many years in the hospital’s Pediatric Nephrology clinic. “Dr. Gupta has an incredible way of connecting with patients and their families,” says Doris. “She’s caring and attentive, but above all she is so compassionate. You can really see that the families are truly connected to her and the children adore her. She’s always smiling – she just lights up a room!”

When it comes to her colleagues, Doris says Dr. Gupta’s approach to teamwork is exceptional. “It’s a true privilege to work with her,” she says. “She’s an absolute joy.”

Dr. Gupta’s interest in nephrology began during her pediatric residency at McMaster Children’s Hospital in Hamilton, Ontario. “I worked with two very special people, Brian Steele, a pediatric nephrologist, and Annette Vigneux, a nurse. They were real role models for me in the way they treated families.” Dr. Gupta says training with them showed her that the physician’s role is so much more than just treating a child. “It’s about being there for the family, being present with them as they go through it. I instinctively felt that what they were doing was important, and it stayed with me ever since,” she says.

Matthew, now 20 years old, has polycystic kidney disease and was Dr. Gupta’s patient from the age of four until his 18th birthday when he transferred to adult care at the Royal Victoria Hospital. His mother Luisa was thrilled to learn that Dr. Gupta was receiving the PFCC Star award. “When we first met Dr. Gupta, she said she was giving Matthew her full attention. She kept that promise the entire time he was under her care, and always went above and beyond the call.” Luisa says that Dr. Gupta has a way of making kids feel comfortable and that Matthew is very appreciative of everything she did for him.

Luisa also says that every time there was an issue, Dr. Gupta would call to give her an update. “She’d even call in the evenings to let me know that test results were fine, and everything was ok,” she says. “We saw her recently at the Glen and we literally ran over to give her a hug. We were so happy to see her!”

Dr. Gupta’s work at the Children’s involves seeing patients on a weekly basis in the nephrology, dialysis and transplant clinics, as well as working on call in the inpatient units. She is grateful to work with such a committed team that includes a social worker, dietician, administrative assistants, nursing assistants, nephrology nurses, and her physician colleagues within the division of Nephrology. She has a lab at the hospital’s Research Institute where she and her team of graduate students and a research assistant are studying congenital kidney and urinary tract defects, which account for 40 per cent of all cases of kidney failure in children. “Sometimes what I see with a patient is something I can look at in my research,” she says. “The Pediatric Nephrology division is strong in research. We have a lot of hope that we’ll find new therapies and options that could improve outcomes for children with kidney disease.”