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Smita Malhotra, M.D.
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I grew up in India, the Middle East, Canada and the great state of Texas. These vastly different places exposed me to people from all walks of life. I was able to witness the common thread of humanity that binds us. It is how I came upon my first passion of being a storyteller through writing. I always thought that I would become a journalist, but I knew that I also wanted to be a healer.

I went to medical school in Texas and found myself in New York City for pediatric residency where I met my husband. He was the chief resident and I was the intern. It was kind of like Grey's Anatomy but not really.

After getting married and arriving in Los Angeles, I fell in love with the creative vibe of Southern California and found a home in photography. I opened my own photography company and for two years, I traveled the world photographing weddings while practicing medicine part time. Thanks to my amazing clients, I was able to photograph in Greece, Mexico and Puerto Rico.

I began to realize that photography and writing were just two different ways for me to practice my passion-storytelling. And medicine gave me the opportunity to listen to the everyday stories of courage and resilience of my patients.

Along with writing on the Huffington Post, I photograph children and family portraits. I also co-own a medical practice with my husband, Mindful Pediatric Gastroenterology, where we combine traditional medicines with alternative therapies such as mindfulness, meditation, yoga and acupuncture.

I have found that the driving force of life is passion. I have somehow managed to create a life which combines all of mine.

What I hope to teach my daughter is what Howard Thurman once wrote, "ask what makes you come alive, and go do it".

You can find more about me on these sites:
DrB and DrM-Own Your Mind. Own Your Health.
Smita Photography

You can also follow me on Twitter or Facebook.

Entries by Smita Malhotra, M.D.

When I became a parent, I changed these 4 things. Here's how they made me better.

(0) Comments | Posted May 17, 2016 | 12:21 PM

It's hard enough being a human, but it's even harder when there is another little human watching you. Before I became a mother, there were parts of myself that I wasn't particularly proud of. But I felt like no one was really watching and I wasn't hurting I wasn't...

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Surrendering to My Own Mediocrity: How I Finally Learned to Get Over My Mommy Guilt

(0) Comments | Posted May 5, 2016 | 3:01 PM


This is the number of hours that I see my daughter on a weekday. Maybe counting the hours makes me feel better that it's not four or three, but it's a small consolation compared to the massive amount of guilt I often feel.


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Three Ways to Instill a Deep Sense of Worth and Belonging in Your Children

(1) Comments | Posted March 21, 2016 | 9:19 AM

I knew there was something wrong when my stomach started to hurt every morning before school. It is true what they say, that the mind and the body are intimately connected.

As a young child, I would often spend my summers in India visiting my grandparents. And since the summers...

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How a Rare Disease Can Teach Us About Our Greatest Story

(3) Comments | Posted March 2, 2016 | 12:45 PM

When I earned my medical degree, I understood that it granted me the right to practice medicine. But over the years, I have learned that this degree has also given me the great honor and privilege to hear people's stories. I have been given a front row seat in the...

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How a Miscarriage Opened My Heart to Hope, Vulnerability, Empathy and Love

(2) Comments | Posted January 27, 2016 | 1:10 PM

Image courtesy of Smita Malhotra

It was the perfect family holiday photo. And it was also the one that nobody saw. My smile spread across my face, a projection of the joy that was slowly growing inside of me. As I looked...

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What Hate Taught Me About Love

(1) Comments | Posted September 22, 2015 | 11:05 AM

I was a young child when I first learned about hate. The memory, like those that make up our core, is vivid. To this day, it is the callous laughter of the girls who stood around me in a circle that I can still hear. It is the joy in...

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Why I Don't Want My Children to Chase "Success"

(0) Comments | Posted September 6, 2015 | 1:11 PM

I was 12 years old when I made my first vision board. Our assignment was to create a representation of what we hoped our life would look like in the future. Like most children, I scoured magazines and newspapers for magnificent houses, fancy cars and pictures of exotic lands that...

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Supporting the Rise of the Engaged Father

(0) Comments | Posted June 12, 2015 | 4:49 PM

As I walked past security at the airport towards our gate, carrying my baby and two bags, the security guard directed me to the escalator. There I clumsily loaded my bags and baby and off we went.

It was about three weeks later that we were traveling the same path...

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What Many Mothers Have Taught Me About Holding On and Letting Go

(0) Comments | Posted May 5, 2015 | 11:37 AM

Not only have I been blessed with a great mother and grandmother, but as a pediatrician, I have been given a glimpse into motherhood long before I ever became one. It is through the mothers that have walked in and out of my exam rooms over the years that I...

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How to Cultivate Happiness Even When It Is Hard

(5) Comments | Posted March 31, 2015 | 8:04 AM

It is easy to choose happiness when we are sitting on the peaks of our lives. But what about when we are lost in the valleys? On those days when we find it hard to put one foot in front of the other, we are tested to go deep.

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The Health Care Revolution You Haven't Heard About

(7) Comments | Posted February 10, 2015 | 3:03 PM

Throughout the country, a revolution is happening in health care. Frustrated by insurance regulations, increasing paperwork and limited time to see complicated patients, a group of primary care physicians are leading a movement. It's called direct primary care, and it could change your health.

Stressed doctors, unhappy patients

To discuss...

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Redefining Happiness in India

(19) Comments | Posted December 13, 2014 | 6:56 AM

As Indian Americans, we have grown up hearing stories from our parents about how they left India in search of a better life. They came to the West to create new opportunities for themselves and generations to come. In many ways, they have achieved what they set out to do....

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10 Things Happy People Understand

(0) Comments | Posted October 22, 2014 | 6:26 PM

All of us have been around people who are genuinely happy. Happiness I have found, is not something that always comes naturally. Actually, it takes work. It requires us to deliberately and consistently take stock of our lives.

There are ten characteristics that seem universal to happy people. It is...

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4 Ways Our Flaws Propel Us Into Mental Freedom

(0) Comments | Posted October 9, 2014 | 11:48 AM

It is a day that I remember vividly, because it is the day that my smile changed. I woke up in an ambulance with blood coming out of my mouth. I felt something missing, but I couldn't figure it out just yet. The last thing I remembered was standing up...

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3 Lessons About Loneliness That Gave Me Profound Peace

(2) Comments | Posted August 19, 2014 | 3:28 PM

It is my belief that my grandmother died of a lonely heart. Three weeks after the birth of my first child, my grandmother passed away. As I was just learning to raise a little human, I found myself saying goodbye to someone who raised me.

What struck me most...

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8 lecciones que quiero enseñar a mi hija

(1) Comments | Posted July 31, 2014 | 1:15 AM

Estas son las ocho cosas que quiero enseñar a mi hija. Yo las he aprendido después de muchos errores, de períodos de introspección y de aprendizaje en mi vida.

Mi esperanza es que ella viva con autenticidad, pasión y dignidad.

1. Si alguien te hace daño, no te...

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4 Steps to Talking with Your Children About Tragedy

(0) Comments | Posted July 28, 2014 | 2:06 PM

I often wonder how I will explain tragedy to my children one day. The news lately has been filled with stories of plane crashes and war.

If I, as an adult am heartbroken by what I see and read, how can a child handle this?

When I was younger and...

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How to Bloom Where You Are Planted

(3) Comments | Posted July 21, 2014 | 12:14 PM

We can't always choose the cards we have been dealt, but we can learn to play them. Like a flower that grows through a crack in the concrete, sometimes we have to make the best of our situations and bloom where we have been planted.

You may...

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8 Lessons I Want to Teach My Daughter

(34) Comments | Posted July 9, 2014 | 4:46 PM

These are eight lessons I want to teach my daughter. I have learned these through many mistakes, periods of introspection and learning in my life.

My hope for her is to live authentically, passionately and gracefully.

1. If someone hurts you, don't take it personally

Chances are, they...

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I Am American

(1) Comments | Posted July 2, 2014 | 5:10 PM

Twenty three years ago, I sat on a shuttle bus from the airport and cried en-route to our apartment in a new country on the other side of the world.

One month prior to that, I was living in the Middle East. The Gulf War had just...

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