I deliver holistic, patient-centered health care with a focus on prevention of disease.
Before deciding to go into private practice, I trained family practice residents to provide full-spectrum family medicine, including obstetrics, outpatient medicine, inpatient medicine, women's health and home visits. I worked to create a family and community by teaching residents full-spectrum patient care—and by teaching them to become a part of the community in which they and their patients lived. I was available to the residents at any time of day or night to ask questions about their patients' care.
But in helping build those communities, I was missing out on time with my own family. Although I loved teaching, I realized that I wasn't practicing what I preached. I worked long hours, which was a detriment to my own family and often to my own health. I didn’t make time for meaningful, healthy practices such as exercise and eating right, because I spent a lot of time commuting.
I decided to start making a lasting change in my own life and to help others make a positive change in theirs. I decided to create and contribute to the community where my family lives. My goal is to provide as close to full-spectrum care as I am able, here in Ridgewood.
I grew up in Westchester County, in New York. I studied Spanish Literature at Dartmouth College and I taught any subject I could sink my teeth into—English, Spanish, Calculus, and organic chemistry--my favorite! I didn't want to be a doctor "just like my parents," but I knew I wanted to be a doctor. The death of a close friend when I was 20 jolted me into a higher level of awareness at a time when I was getting ready to apply to medical schools. A guest speaker at a class I was taking during my sophomore year (Medicine In American Society) was a doctor, and he said he felt like he had to focus so singularly on medicine that he felt that he missed out on living his life. I did not want that to be me! I knew medicine was hard work, but I didn't want my life to pass me by. I wanted to be passionate about medicine, but still mindful about my life. I loved the science of medicine and I was good at it, but I still needed to find the spark that fueled me to practice medicine.
After I finished college, instead of immediately starting medical school, I embarked on a journey to India. I worked with a non-profit organization bringing health into local public schools and teaching health care workers, parents and children about their own health. I learned that I LOVED educating patients about their own health because it was a way to provide them with lifelong benefits. While in India, I also attended a yoga camp. This, in addition to some reading about Ayurveda that started in high school, began my love of wellness, health prevention and alternative medicine.
When I came home to the U.S. to go to medical school, because now I had a purpose, I worked in a small oncology private practice, doing secretarial and billing work, learning the ropes of what I thought would be my medical career. I spent countless hours on the phone advocating for patients to be able to get their cancer treatments, and advocating for doctors to get paid for services that had already been provided. Since then, I have seen the benefits of putting the patient in charge of their own health, instead of the insurance company.
I returned to Dartmouth to study statistics, medicine, health policy, and quality improvement at what is now called The Dartmouth Institute (TDI). This tied together my previous population-based education training with my upcoming medical education. I attended medical school at Case Western in Cleveland, Ohio, where I began to explore electives in alternative and integrative medicine. Since then, I have added to my personal yoga practice and also have found the benefits of regular meditation and mindful eating.
My family moved to Ridgewood, N.J., in November of 2013, during my first pregnancy, to be closer to my stepson and to care for my aging father-in-law. I have gotten to know many people who live in town, including doctors in the area. In addition to meeting people just by virtue of living in town, I’ve met neighbors and friends through local sports events for our kids, through school activities, and through caring for my aging father-in-law. My circle increased as we provided end-of-life care for him. As I had children and our circle continued to grow, I learned more about maternal child health through my own experience, breastfeeding, foods and herbs that support a woman through the processes of birth, breastfeeding and weaning. I learned about sleep training (and not sleep training!) through my own heart wrenching experiences. Through all this, I have continued to provide care in the area, and as I grow, the depth and breadth of my practice has grown. I also have built a wonderful referral network of specialists that I know and trust.
I love the “village feel” of our town. I love that it is a cooperative community where we all look out for each other and for each other's families.
As a physician trained in full-spectrum care, I have many areas of clinical interest. Many of us family doctors chose family medicine because we believe in treating the whole person, the whole family, and in effect, the whole community. I have extensive experience in women's health, contraception, pregnancy, geriatric care, disease prevention and wellness, end-of-life care, nutrition, optimization of mental health, and, of course, alternative medicine including acupuncture. I believe it is an honor and a privilege to help people in times of medical need. I am passionate about wellness and prevention, including taking charge of your health in order to take the best possible care of your body that you can to optimize your own health.
I welcome members to my practice from Ridgewood and surrounding towns such as Allendale, Glen Rock, Hillsdale, Ho-Ho-Kus, Ramsey, Saddle River, Waldwick, and Wyckoff, NJ.
At Maitri Wellness, Dr. Kaul provides the type of care once provided by the old-time family doctor who made house calls.