Doctoring With an Entrepreneurial Spirit

Lucky Chopra receives School of Medicine Alumni Achievement Award
Lucky Chopra stands in front of a bookcase

Each year, the UMKC Alumni Association recognizes the achievements of outstanding alumni with an awards celebration. The UMKC School of Medicine is honoring Dr. Lucky Atul Chopra, (M.D., ’92) with its Class of 2022 Alumni Achievement Award.

Lucky Atul Chopra, M.D., a 1992 graduate of the UMKC School of Medicine, is a radiologist and entrepreneur who has created successful medical service companies.

During his radiology residency at the McGovern Medical School at the University of Texas-Houston Health Science Center, Dr. Chopra started a mobile imaging service using a converted milk truck to transport a portable X-ray machine. Contracting with nursing homes, he provided imaging services on site so patients would not have to travel.

Four years later, he opened an independent, physician-led medical facility in east Houston that specializes in spinal and orthopedic surgical procedures. Today, he is the chief executive officer of Advanced Diagnostics Healthcare.

How did your idea for a mobile radiology service come about?

A significant amount of my residency training was in the trauma and emergency center. I recognized many patients were from long-term care facilities and other institutions for diagnostics and possible intervention. The diagnostics often proved to be normal, making the trip to the emergency/trauma center avoidable if diagnostics were available on site. Providing quality on-site diagnostics reduced the need for patient transport, created value to all stakeholders, and provided a much faster turnaround time for results.

How do you see the improvements you have made in the field of radiology impacting lives and outcomes for patients?

We have raised the bar for patients in long-term care facilities and other institutions in providing quality and credible on-site diagnostics. The technology and software that we implemented in this space has set the standard of care. We are proud of patient-centric innovations outside of the radiology space, which is improving outcomes for patients that have been involved in serious trauma.

What advice do you have for students who’d like to follow in your footsteps?

I encourage all students to be focused on ethics, compliance, and understand the regulatory climate. In the course of business, outside parties will attempt to encourage physicians to engage in profiteering, which can provide a short-term gain, but also creates many long-term issues. All new graduates need to be wary of these parties as many are very convincing and provide false assurances as to compliance and legalities.  

How did UMKC prepare you for/contribute to your success?

The hands-on clinical experience UMKC provided proved to be valuable throughout my residency and beyond. I didn’t fully recognize or appreciate the full value of UMKC’s positive academic and cerebral environment until I graduated and joined other institutions.

What is your proudest accomplishment?

Our companies have remained private, not dependent upon cash infusions from private equity or other outside sources. Staying this course has been challenging at times, but it has allowed us to maintain our independence. At a time when over 50 percent of all physicians are employed, I am proud that we support those physicians that value their independence.

Where can you be found on the weekends? What are your hobbies?

I enjoy visiting our vacation home on Lake Travis in Austin, Texas, whenever possible. A weekend of being on boats and watercraft with my family is the most relaxing. I also enjoy working out and mountain biking.

About the Alumni Awards

Join us in honoring Chopra and the other Class of 2022 awardees at an in-person celebration at 6 p.m. April 29, at the James C. Olson Performing Arts Center. To register, visit UMKC's Alumni Association website. If you are unable to attend the event but would like to donate to student scholarships, contributions can be made online.

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Published: Mar 16, 2022

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