Women-Owned Business Series: Dr. Sanjeet Baidwan of I.M. Well Medical

This week, we spoke to Dr. Sanjeet Baidwan of I.M. Well Medical about her experience as a female business owner who got her start during the pandemic. With her “clinic-in-a-bag” primary care practice, Dr. Baidwan has been serving the Brooklyn community in all matters of health and wellness. Read what she has to say about female entrepreneurship below!

First tell us about your business and anything special we should know about it or you.

I.M. Well Medical is an Internal Medicine Primary Care practice that conveniently comes to your home, office, or hotel. With our ‘clinic-in-a-bag’, I.M. Well makes house calls like an old school small-town physician. We will go over all your questions and will even email or text after our appointment to make sure your symptoms and concerns are resolved. No more leaving messages at the front desk and waiting for a call back – we communicate directly.

I.M. Well does annual physical exams, blood draws, urgent care, travel medicine, and refills via phone, text, email, video-call, or in person home visit. Generally anything we do in a clinic, we can do in the comfort of your home.

I.M. Well does not take insurance, though we are happy to give you a superbill to submit to your insurance as many insurance providers will consider this an out-of-network benefit.

Tell us a little about your background and why you feel a connection to your work.

My parents immigrated from India in the 1970’s and settled in Lubbock, Texas, where I was born and raised. After medical school at the University of Texas in Houston, I came to Connecticut for residency at Yale. I have always had a passion for advocacy and social justice and particularly how that intersects with healthcare. At Yale, I was the first inaugural Chief Resident for Advocacy and Community health, where I attended community meetings and neighborhood events. I saw firsthand the importance of community and got to know how conditions in the places where people live, learn, work, and play affect a wide range of health risks and outcomes.

I was able to do house calls for some of our most vulnerable patients and got to see our patients in their home environments and the many challenges they faced outside of the hospital or clinic and how I could adapt to meet their needs.

I started I.M. Well medical during the pandemic because I was a little disillusioned with insurance and our current healthcare system. I was never going to be the doctor that could do an appointment in 15 minutes. I need more time and more connection. I.M. Well provides that.

We’d like to know about your experience within your community. What community do you identify as being part of ? Why did you choose the neighborhood your business is located in, if you have a physical location? How have you become involved within your community?

I am first generation Indian-American located in Brooklyn. My husband and I moved to Red Hook during the pandemic from Boerum Hill and fell in love with the neighborhood. We have made friendships with our neighbors and small business owners. It’s amazing to know the other dog owners at the park on our morning walk, the wine shop owner, and the dry-cleaners on a first name basis. New York during the pandemic was an especially lonely place and Red Hook has been our antidote.

During the pandemic, I was able to provide COVID testing and advise a few small businesses on reopening practices and protocols. I am currently in talks with another organization about a street medicine event for vulnerable community members and the unhoused.

What advice would you give to young women who want to start a small business?

Do it! Don’t be too precious about the idea. Your business will adapt and evolve sometimes day by day. It’s ok to make mistakes – it’s how we learn and pivot. Start before you’re ready.

What woman inspires you and why?

I can’t pick just one! Michelle Obama, Kamala Harris, and Hillary Clinton for their tireless efforts to advance women’s rights. Amal Clooney for effortlessly combining femininity while practicing at the highest levels of international human-rights law. Princess Diana for speaking her truth no matter the cost. My mother for bravely making a new life in a new country undeterred by the casual racism and cultural obstacles constantly set before her. Dr. Tracy Rabin and Dr. Ashwini Bapat for fearlessly charting their own course in medicine and taking nontraditional paths. And Oprah – well because she’s Oprah!

What do you think are the most significant challenges for women business owners or women in leadership positions?

Being respected for our expertise. I have found, whether intentionally or not, people will default to the man, even if I am more senior or appropriate for the task at hand.

How do you motivate yourself and stay motivated?

Different things for different seasons. I am inspired by memoirs and documentaries that remind me that even the greatest achievers failed or had unforeseen circumstances beyond their control. Recently it’s been rest. Not scrolling-through-instagram rest, but actual rest like taking walks, reading for pleasure, and being with my own thoughts. Taking a moment to remember how far I’ve come in my goals and what it took to get here. Remembering the why! Why am I doing what I’m doing? Finally, allowing my goals to evolve and change as I do.

Being a small business owner means relying on your community to support you and getting involved within your community as well. In what ways do you feel supported and actively engage with your neighborhood of residents and other business owners?

It has been wonderful to get referrals from neighbors and small business owners! I’ve appreciated staying hyperlocal within our micro-communities. My husband and I try to make a point of buying from small businesses on our block and trying to connect community members who may have similar interests or can help each other in some way or another.

If you’re interested in I.M. Well Medical’s services, feel free to visit the website or send an email to hello@imwellmedical.com.

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