Kalpana DePasquale was born in Bangalore, India and came to the U.S. with her parents when she was small. She went to school in Florida through medical school, and started her ear, nose and throat (ENT) practice in St. Augustine.
“I think the most fun about ENT is that you’re not limited to one age group," she says. "I can see children who are two years old, adults, and elderly patients who are 102 years old.”
She’s also branched out. Kalpana founded Avanti Medical Spa as a venue to provide patients with cosmetic procedures, and Avanti Skin Care Products that she formulated herself.
The skin care products fill not only on patient needs, but her own need, as well – to broaden her business so that it’s not solely dependent on how many hours she works.
“About a year into my practice, I noticed a lump on my thyroid gland. I immediately knew what it was − I’m an ENT, I treat similar disorders all the time. The biopsy confirmed that it was malignant. I was 34 years old, one year into a solo practice, four-year-old and one-and-a-half-year-old sons … I knew I wasn’t going to die from this, but it took a toll on me emotionally. I thought, 'if this is what life is going to throw at me, maybe I should live a little differently.'”
Kalpana DePasquale is living her life differently. She hired staff for her expanding practice and clinic. And the skin care products don’t require a lot of her time, which was partly the reason for doing them.
“At first, it was because I wasn’t satisfied with the products that were out there. But then, I started thinking that there could be something I created that wouldn’t consume all of my time, the way medicine does.”
She’s been learning to play the piano for several years, and training to run a half-marathon this winter.
“This is the most balanced my life has ever been. It makes you a happier person, and I’ve noticed that it makes you a much better doctor, as well.”