Dr. Niraj Mehta is an Associate Professor in the Departments of Medicine and Family and Community Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine. He completed his entire medical education and training at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, including Lyndon B. Johnson (LBJ) Hospital, a major teaching affiliate of UTHealth.
In over two decades spent as full-time educator at LBJ, he was the recipient of numerous departmental teaching awards. Nicknamed “House” after the medical doctor of the famed television series by his current and former students (having even received his own walking cane from former graduates), he continues to inspire and teach at The County, currently working at LBJ’s “bigger brother hospital” Ben Taub.
Having recently completed his memoir Hopes and Fears Dreams and Tears, he shares his humorous and unique perspective on the journey being the destination at nirajmehtamd.com. Still full of Hopes and Fears, Dreams and Tears, he continues to learn from his two newest teachers: his teenage daughters, Natasha and Poonum. He continues to dedicate his academic career to teaching medical students and residents to treat each patient with equal parts heart and mind.
Having founded the Cupcake Man Project, his lofty aspiration is to recognize and celebrate every patient’s birthday in hospitals across the United States and beyond.
Jackson Bennett is a fourth-year medical student from Austin, Texas, studying at the Baylor College of Medicine with plans to apply for interventional radiology residency. He completed his undergraduate education at Vanderbilt University and went on to continue school in the Texas Medical Center.
Jackson has enjoyed serving as a mentor and tutor for younger students at Baylor College of Medicine during his past three years of medical school. He has also been involved in several community projects, including las promotoras health screenings and kidney koaches for kids receiving dialysis. His passion is helping underserved populations needing medical care and serving as a teacher for younger students and community members.
Jackson is also no stranger to the patient perspective in the hospital. Having survived a young cancer diagnosis and treatment with a medical leave of absence from school, he returned to Baylor College of Medicine invigorated to learn with the class of students that he previously mentored. He was inspired by Dr. Mehta’s “healing begins with feeling mission,” and he draws from experiences as a patient to help celebrate birthdays in the Cupcake Man Project. His hopes are to expand this rewarding project to medical students and faculty across Texas and the United States.
Sameer Kini is a fourth-year medical student originally from Boston, Massachusetts and currently at Baylor College of Medicine. He completed his undergraduate degree in psychology at Rice University and decided to continue his studies across the street in the Texas Medical Center. He is planning to pursue a career in otolaryngology – head and neck surgery.
Sameer has been invested in improving the patient care experience in various ways throughout his time in medical school. He has served as a mentor to pediatric patients requiring dialysis through the Kidney Koach program and visited Austin during the Texas Legislative Session with Doctors For Change to advocate for pro-vaccine legislation, the need for school recess, and increasing access to care throughout the state. He has also mentored his underclassmen colleagues in service and scholarship through his involvement on the leadership teams for the otolaryngology interest group and Matthew Carter Service Day.
Sameer believes strongly in Dr. Mehta’s “healing begins with feeling” mentality and is excited to continue to foster empathy in the healthcare system through the Cupcake Man Project. He is looking forward to be working alongside such impassioned colleagues to continue the mission of this project and spreading the power of human connection to his own patients and others across the country.
Our Cupcake Crew
Niraj Mehta, MD
Patient’s medical team: Doctors/residents/students
Samir Desai, MD