Profile: Ajay Talati, MD
Neonatology chief focuses on teaching, teamwork in new role
In medical school, Ajay Talati, MD, was immediately drawn to pediatrics and neonatology. He enjoyed knowing the positive impact he could have on a person’s life at such an early age.
As Le Bonheur’s new chief of Neonatology and vice chair of Education, Talati is able to follow his passion of helping children and leaving a lasting, positive impact on their lives.
“During medical school, I realized that if I can do something early in the life of a child that can help that child in the long run,” Talati said. “In pediatrics, I look forward to a longer impact with what you can do. A lot of illnesses are preventable, and the child can recover and be fine for the rest of his or her life.”
A native of Gujarat, India, Talati graduated medical school from N.H.L. Municipal College in Ahmedabad, India, and completed his pediatric residency at Gujarat University.
After his residency, he came to the United States and received further pediatric critical care training at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Mich. Talati came to Memphis for a neonatal-perinatal medicine fellowship in 1999 at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center and stayed on as faculty. He is currently the Sheldon B. Korones endowed professor and chief of Neonatology and a professor in the Departments of Pediatrics and OB/GYN. He is also the director of the neonatal-perinatal medicine fellowship program.
As Le Bonheur’s NICU medical director, Talati is working to enhance teamwork and communication among physicians, nurses and medical staff, as well as to develop processes and procedures that will decrease any unsafe events. As vice chair of education, he aims to improve the academic environment, one of Talati’s passions.
“We get a lot of complex kids who aren’t seen anywhere else,” Talati said. “I look at our goal as not one baby at a time but to improve the quality of care for all babies in multiple ways – by training fellows how to take better care of their patients and better training of nurses. If I train people and supervise them well, they will be better at their work and that will benefit the greater population.”
Talati has authored more than 45 publications in various medical journals and has received several honors, including the “Pediatric Educator Award” by the Southern Society for Pediatric Research in 2017.
He also has been honored by staff with the Robert Mirro Neonatology Teaching Award for several years. In 2017, he was a finalist for Memphis Business Journal’s “Health Care Heroes” award.
Talati believes Le Bonheur pediatricians can make a lasting impact in the community and are vital to improving the overall health of area children and producing the best outcomes possible.
“The longer I stayed in Memphis, I realized the need for this population is pretty significant, and Le Bonheur is filling a big void. It’s impressive how much it has grown and all the specialists it attracts,” Talati said. “It’s exciting to work with a group of people that have so much experience and who can help our patients.”
Education and Training
- The Regional Medical Center/The University of Tennessee Health Science Center Departments of Pediatrics and Obstetrics and Gynecology – Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine Fellowship
- Gujarat University V. S. Hospital, Ahmedabad, India – Pediatrics Residency
- Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, Mich. – Pediatrics Residency
- N.H.L. Municipal College, Ahmedabad, India – Medical School
- American Board of Pediatrics
- American Board of Pediatrics (Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine)
- American Academy of Pediatrics
- American Medical Association
- Southern Society for Pediatric Research
- Society of Pediatric Research