For two local brothers who always dreamed about becoming doctors, the biggest surprise in their careers to date was opening their respective medical practices in the same Lake Nona neighborhood. In fact, they’re right down the street from one another.
Brothers Chirag J. Patel, M.D., and Chetan J. Patel, M.D., both said they knew they wanted to get into the medical field at a very young age.
“I’ve always had the thought of becoming a doctor as a child – not until my third year of medical school did I know that I wanted to be a surgeon,” said Dr. Chetan J. Patel, a board-certified and fellowship-trained general surgeon and founder of Nona Minimally Invasive Surgery.
“And I knew in grade school that I wanted to be a doctor, but I wasn’t sure of what type,” said Dr. Chirag J. Patel, a board-certified ophthalmologist and founder of Lake Nona Ophthalmology. “When I went to medical school and was exposed to different specialties, my mind hopped around a lot. It was late in medical school when I stumbled upon ophthalmology. Being in long-term patient care, being able to make a huge difference in patients’ lives, using pretty cutting-edge technology … all of those elements were really appealing.”
But the field wasn’t the only thing they were both certain about. With roots in a small Central Florida town near Leesburg, the brothers say they knew Florida is where they, too, wanted to settle down and eventually raise their families.
Chirag beat his younger brother to the punch, opening his Lake Nona Ophthalmology practice first, in 2013.
“I think what I really loved about Lake Nona was that the end goal of the community in terms of what Tavistock is trying to do – the whole healthy living, multi-disciplinary community – kind of made it not only a wonderful place to practice medicine, but to teach medicine,” he said, having previous experience lecturing at the University of Florida, where he studied. “I always loved the teaching aspect of medicine. It’s lifelong learning.”
Chetan, who was almost set to be in West Palm Beach upon completing his residency through the University of Miami, opened his minimally invasive surgical practice in October 2018 and main office in June, just down the road from his older sibling. In fact, he anticipates hosting a grand opening in the coming weeks, where guests with surgical needs will have the opportunity to make appointments for free consultations following the event.
“I always knew I wanted to be in Florida, that was for sure,” he said. “But I didn’t know anything about Lake Nona until my brother started his practice here.”
Both living and working nearby one another in Lake Nona, the brothers are now raising their own families. “It’s been a big, giant leap of faith, but it’s worked out great,” said Chirag. “It’s an amazing place.”
And though the Patels are physicians related by blood, they both said there is no competition between them – as brothers nor as professionals. They offer each other nothing but support.
“[My brother] has always paved the way for me throughout my entire life,” said Chetan. “He was a huge support as far as starting my own practice and will always be a lifelong mentor to me.”
“It’s a lot of fun, even though we’re two completely different specialties. … And it’s nice to be able to, at this point, offer a person who my brother can talk to at any point,” said Chirag. “We’re not only able to connect professionally, but always as a family.”
For more information about Lake Nona Ophthalmology and Dr. Chirag J. Patel, visit NonaEyeMD.com.
For more information about Nona Minimally Invasive Surgery, Dr. Chetan J. Patel and their upcoming grand opening event, visit NonaSurgery.com.