Ajeet Gajra, M.D., M.B.B.S., F.A.C.P.

Board-certified in Medical Oncology, Hematology and Hospice and Palliative Care
Specialty Training: 
Oncology and hematology at SUNY Upstate Medical University
Medical School: 
MBBS and MD (Internal Medicine) from Delhi University in New Delhi, India

I have been a medical oncologist and hematologist since 2001 and joined HOACNY in early 2022. The CNY area has been home to me since 1996. Prior to joining HOACNY I was a Professor of Medicine and the Medical Director at the Upstate Cancer Center in Syracuse, NY. I believe that despite the remarkable progress made in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer, we need to do better. My philosophy is to treat all under my care the same as I would treat family and friends. I believe in mutual respect and shared decision-making without judgement or bias.  

Medicine has been an exciting journey, certainly my calling. At age 17, I dropped out of my dream engineering school to pursue medicine. By age 22 I was a full-fledged physician in India (MBBS) and then chose to spend three additional, grueling years getting an advanced (MD) degree. During those three years it became obvious to me that cancer was a significant unmet need, the “final frontier”, and hence the field that I wanted to pursue. Since there were no real options for training in oncology in India at that time, I moved to the United States. I trained at Upstate with wonderful mentors, many still my friends, and completed my training in hematology and oncology. We felt so welcomed by the CNY community that my wife and I decided to settle and raise our family right here. We call CNY home and have lived here for over 25 years.

I decided that I would try to be the best physician I could be: be a good doctor because that’s the core, a good educator as we bear the responsibility for training the next generation of specialists, and being a good researcher since all progress in the fight against cancer starts with research.

I have tried to give back by serving our veterans and have had the privilege of providing care to thousands of patients and families in the broader CNY area. I have taught medical students, physicians-in-training and directed the oncology training program at SUNY Upstate for seven years. I have had the good fortune of collaborating with researchers at some of the greatest institutions in the country from Memorial Sloan Kettering to Mayo Clinic to City of Hope. I realized that a lot of the progress in cancer arises from new discoveries and scientific inventions, and I took a detour to conduct and lead research at global organizations, ICON and Cardinal health before joining HOA. I have worked with large hospital systems, lectured across the country and the world, and written hundreds of scientific papers. When cancer affected my family, I knew it was time to return to the clinic full-time. I am grateful to work with colleagues who are smart, thoughtful and compassionate at HOA. Serving residents of CNY is my privilege. My prayer each morning is for wisdom so I can do right by those who trust me with their health.

On a personal note, a nature lover at heart, I enjoy the region 10 months a year! No points for guessing the two months I don’t. The Adirondacks are a happy place, but I love the lakes, hiking and trails all around us.