Growing up in a family of medical doctors, Susmeeta Sharma, MD, knew from an early age that she would one day become a physician too. Her dad was an anesthesiologist and her mother, an OB/GYN.
“I’m not sure I’d be good at anything else,” she says with a laugh.
As director of pituitary endocrinology at MedStar Pituitary Center at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, Dr. Sharma oversees the evaluation and treatment of pituitary and adrenal tumors, as well as other conditions such as prolactinoma, Cushing’s disease, acromegaly, and hormone deficiencies.
“There’s a complexity and logic to evaluating pituitary disorders that I find appealing,” she says. “And the impact you can make on a patient’s well-being through diagnosis and treatment is rewarding.
Before joining the MedStar Pituitary Center, Dr. Sharma completed a fellowship in reproductive and adult endocrinology focusing on pituitary and adrenal disorders at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). She then stayed on as a junior faculty member and the Chief of Outpatient Endocrinology at NIH.
Dr. Sharma credits Lynnette Nieman, MD, a Senior Investigator and Chief of the Endocrinology Consultation Service at the NIH Clinical Center, for helping hone her research skills, which focus on pathogenesis and diagnosis of hormonally active pituitary tumors as well as development of non-surgical treatment modalities for management of pituitary tumors.
Another key mentor was John E. Nestler, MD, now Chair of the Department of Internal Medicine at the VCU School of Medicine, where Dr. Sharma served her internship. Both physicians helped instill a love of mentoring young physicians along their path to clinical endocrinology and patient care—a commitment for which Dr. Sharma was recognized with the NIH Endocrinology fellowship program’s Dr. Phillip Gorden Distinguished Clinical Teacher Award, named for former director of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK).
Dr. Sharma hopes to develop research programs to complement those already underway at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital.
“There are many avenues to explore, such as different types of tumors, and why various patient populations develop certain kinds and not others,” adds Dr. Sharma.
Married to a cardiologist, Dr. Sharma practices her problem-solving skills at home by reading mysteries. She also enjoys gardening and cooking Indian food.