In the more than three decades since Dr. Suseela D. Yitta opened her pediatrics practice in the city she has literally helped nurture, mend and mold generations of children.
“Oh yes, I’ve seen second generations, maybe even third generations come in,” Dr. Yitta laughed. “It’s great, it’s a nice feeling to see the families grow and to stay close.”
Dr. Yitta came to the area in 1980, with her husband Dr. V. Prasad Yitta, after hearing from friends in Malone that Ogdensburg seemed like a nice place to live. She said a drive through city streets proved her friend to be right, and the couple quickly decided to hang out a shingle and put down roots.
“It was small, safe and friendly,” Dr. Yitta said. “We immediately liked it.”
Approximately two years after arriving in the city, Dr. Yitta began working as a pediatrician alongside her husband. And this month, after 32 years of tending to the medical needs of thousands of children, and offering caring advice to scores of parents, she has officially closed her 813 State St. office.
Dr. Yitta said she will be leaving Ogdensburg at the end of the month to join her husband in Houston, Texas, where he relocated last year to take a position with Nova Medical Corp. Leaving the city permanently is bittersweet, according to Dr. Yitta, who said Ogdensburg has been much more than just a place to work. It’s where she’s developed life-long friendships, raised a family and come of age.
“This is a great community and I am thankful for all of the loyalty and support,” Dr. Yitta said. “I have two girls, one is 35 and the other is 30. One is a physician and one is a dentist. They both went to OFA. They got an excellent start here.”
During her years as a physician, Dr. Yitta said she has seen plenty of changes in the field of medicine, including how young doctors today are able to better manage their personal lives and spend more time with their own families. She said years of pediatric experience have taught her that what’s often good for the doctor, is also good for the patient
“The younger doctors are spending more time with their families, and that’s a good thing,” Dr. Yitta said. “We used to stay in the office a long time, to seven or eight in the evening. I was lucky I had a good baby sitter.”
What the future holds for Dr. Yitta remains unclear at the point. As much as she’ll miss her pediatrics practice, she said she’s also keenly aware that it’s time for a fresh start. There are no immediate plans to begin practicing medicine again once she relocates to Texas, but she candidly admits that the word “idle” does not easily cross her lips.
“I don’t have anything lined up, but I think I may get bored not working,” she said.
In reflection Dr. Yitta said what she will miss most about her years in Ogdensburg will be the people she has treated, befriended and watched grow over the years.
There is quiet satisfaction, she suggests, in helping a child grow into an adult and then watching that same young man or woman bring children of their own into her clinic for care.
“That’s been the best part for me, becoming close with the families and knowing their extended families, knowing the aunts, uncles and grandparents,” Dr. Yitta said.