Srinivas “Bobby” Mukkamala, MD is a board-certified otolaryngologist – head and neck surgeon. He has practiced in Flint since 2000 in an office he shares with his wife, Nita Mukkamala, MD, and performs surgery at all three area hospitals in their preferred provider groups.
In June, Dr. Mukkamala was elected to the American Medical Association Board of Trustees. He has been active in the AMA since residency, is a past Michigan representative to the AMA Young Physicians Section (YPS), received the AMA Foundation’s “Excellence in Medicine” Leadership Award, and for the last 13 years has been a member of the Michigan delegation to the AMA House of Delegates. In 2009, he was elected to the AMA Council on Science and Public Health, and served as its 2016-2017 chair. Dr. Mukkamala is past president and still serves on the board of the Genesee County Medical Society, and chairs the board of the Michigan State Medical Society.
Dr. Mukkamala also devotes his time to Flint’s Downtown revitalization efforts. He is a past chairman of the board of the Community Foundation of Greater Flint and serves on the board of the Crim Fitness Foundation. In addition, he is chairman of the Foundation for Flint and is involved with several Downtown businesses.
Bobby and Nita reside in Flint with their twin teenaged sons, Deven and Nikhil.
Where are you from originally?
I was born in Pittsburgh, PA, where my parents first lived after emigrating from India. We moved to Flint in 1972 and I’ve been here ever since.
What high school did you attend and what activities were you involved in?
I attended Holy Family Catholic School in Grand Blanc, and then Powers Catholic High School in Flint. I played tennis (not very well), participated in Forensics and belonged to the National Honor Society.
Where did you go to college and what degree(s) did you earn?
I attended the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor in a seven-year integrated premed-med program. I was accepted into medical school from high school, in what was called the Inteflex program. I earned a B.S. and M.D., and completed my residency at Loyola University Medical Center in Chicago.
What aspects of your career are the most exciting?
I love seeing patients of all age groups – from newborns to the most senior of seniors. I love sharing stories with my older patients about growing up in the Flint area. I love meeting new people in my office daily, and then seeing them around town. It’s wonderful to be able to make a living by helping people.
You were recently elected to the American Medical Association’s Board of Trustees. What does this mean to you?
I owe everything to the medical profession. It allowed my parents to emigrate to this great country and has allowed me to succeed, as well. Simply practicing medicine was not enough for me; I felt that I should do more than that. I should work to improve the delivery of medical care in this country. As a physician, the best way to do that, in my honest opinion, is to add my voice to the AMA, which deals with these issues on a daily basis.
What career achievement are you most proud of?
I am probably most proud of my kids; aside from them, I take great pride in being part of a group that is working to revitalize Downtown Flint. In the short 17 years since I moved back home after college, Downtown has become a destination again. Specifically, as it relates to medicine, I was most proud and honored to be elected to the AMA board by my peers.
On what goals are you most focused right now?
I want to continue serving the Flint community by working as an ENT doctor and helping whoever I can with those skills. I want to also continue serving the community by creating the future we want for ourselves – being a vibrant, attractive city for people to live and work. Finally, I want to help improve the medical system in our country. We are a country that has so much, and yet, we seem to struggle with public health and health care economic issues. I believe that working in the AMA is my best opportunity to address those issues.
Were you influenced by any special people?
I’ve had many mentors. I still keep in touch with my high school teachers from Powers. I had no idea back then about the value of my education; but, I would be nowhere without it. I owe much to the physicians at Loyola University in Chicago where I “learned my trade.” I’m grateful to my mentors in the Flint community – a long list of philanthropists and community workers who showed me the power of the individual to make a difference.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I tinker a lot – my sons and I fiddle with all sorts of things. We make lasers and grow clothing materials from yeast. We build 3D printers. We make Bismuth from Pepto-Bismol. Aside from hanging out with them, I play with my car collection. I have more than 50 cars that have caught my eye over the years. Wrenching on them is my “meditation.”
What do you hope for the future of Flint?
My hopes can be illustrated by this scenario: If we create a community that inspires my kids to strongly consider the Flint area as the place to embark on their careers and start families, then my hopes will have been realized. The world is a big place, and my sons’ generation, like generations past, will have opportunities all over the globe. If they are torn between some other place and Flint – not because of family ties, but because of opportunities to make a difference – then, we’ve succeeded.
“It’s wonderful to be able to make a living by helping people.”