“Bringing compassion and advocacy to my patients is something that is very important to me. Oncology Associates and its Outreach Centers offer me a patient focused environment to treat patients and provide them with personalized care.”
Growing up in India, Dr. Laxmi Narayana R. Buddharaju (Dr. Budd) saw firsthand the lack of available health care services. He became interested in science and wanted to study medicine, but it wasn’t just about becoming a doctor that was important to him, he wanted a career where he could give something back to the people.
Mother Teresa was an early influence on him and her teachings of giving back to the community have remained strong with him today, culminating in a lifelong commitment to using his medical skills with compassion.
Following his medical school studies in India, he came to the United States to complete his residency in internal medicine at the University of Buffalo and his fellowship in medical oncology and hematology, including bone marrow transplant, at the University of Maryland.
After completing his fellowship, his medical journey brought him to Omaha, Nebraska. A place he chose specifically to bring his family to because he had always admired the Midwestern values and lifestyle. In Omaha, Dr. Buddharaju worked as a partner in a private oncology practice and also as a faculty member at Creighton University.
Having practiced medicine in the United States for over 20 years, Dr. Buddharaju followed the call to bring cancer care and treatment to people who might not otherwise have access to it. With the help of some faculty members from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, he helped start a cancer program to bring cancer care to people in India.
For over three years, he worked as the chief of oncology for the organization, bouncing back and forth between India and Omaha. Once the project established and running well, Dr. Buddahaju realized that he wanted to get back into a practice, spending more time helping others, rather than managing an organization. (While the experience was fulfilling, he missed working with patients.)
Looking to restart his practice as an oncologist, Dr. Buddharaju chose Oncology Associates, as it offered him a more patient focused oncology practice from which to care for his cancer patients. “Bringing compassion and advocacy to my patients is something that is very important to me,” he points out. “And the patient friendly environment of Oncology Associates offers me the perfect place to provide my services.”
He was also attracted to Oncology Associates mission to bring medical oncology and hematology services to smaller, rural communities throughout Nebraska. By being a part of OA’s Cancer Outreach Program, he could help these patients get the treatment they needed, but also make it more convenient for them, so that they didn’t need to commute to Omaha for their care and treatments.
Board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine in Medical Oncology, Hematology and Internal Medicine, he has published papers in several professional oncology journals. He also has initiated and conducted clinical trials, in both community and academic settings.
While he will follow a little Nebraska Cornhusker football now and then, you are more apt to catch Dr. Buddharaju following a cricket match when he has the time. He might be a football fan, but cricket is his real passion.
Since 1992, patients, staff and other doctors often refer to Dr. Buddharaju as “Dr. Budd”. “Whether I like it or not, I think that that it kind of stuck,” he adds with a shrug.