top story

Amazing Women of the Suncoast: Dr. Anila Jain

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Today's Amazing Woman of the Suncoast is Dr. Anila Jain, she is the daughter of last week's amazing woman, Dr. Mona Jain.

For many years, Anila and her parents were the only Indian family on the Suncoast. But Anila quickly adapted to her new home and fit right in without losing her Indian heritage.

Anila was born in India. She came to Sarasota with her parents when she was 5 years old, and her mother, a Fulbright Scholar, came here to teach at Riverview High.

It was a big change. "It was different…for a while it was a big culture shock."

School here was also quite different from India. "I had started going to school in India at age 2, and I remember having more interaction with the kids and the teachers more there than I did here."

Her parents made sure they kept close ties with India. "We went back to India every summer. As soon as school was out, we went back for a month or 6 weeks."

She always knew what she wanted to do when she grew up. "When I was growing up, they said don't you want to be a nurse? I said no, I want to be a doctor."

Her grandfather inspired her. "My grandfather was a pediatrician. I would go with him to the hospital, sit in his chair, put the stethoscope around my neck."

She attended University of South Florida in Tampa, and then in medical school she was shocked to find that only 1% of her class was female.

She set out to change that. "I've been mentoring a lot of young female students when they are applying for med school, or applying, getting their residency, and I am so proud that over 50% are now female."

She also helps those in need of medical care across the globe. "I did a lot of missions overseas, and here we take so much for granted. When we went overseas, people started lining up at 3 o’clock to be able to see a doctor."

She also helps here at home. “I was very much involved in prevention of child abuse, started with Manatee Family Services. I was on board for many years. I was also on Manatee Children Services’ advisory board."

Her life lesson: true joy comes from helping others. "It doesn’t matter if you give your time or talent or your money. It's not the amount, but if it makes a difference in the life of others, you know you've done something good in your life."

If you know someone you'd like to see nominated as an Amazing Women of the Suncoast, just email her name and the information about her to amazingwomen@mysuncoast.com.