Age:  38, Clinical Instructor and Attending Physician
NYU Medical Center, New York City

When she was born, Nonkulie Dladla’s South African father named her Nonkulie, meaning “born to freedom,” because she was born in the United States, away from the apartheid system he escaped. All grown up,
Dr. Dladla is an attending physician and clinical instructor at NYU Medical Center, where she sees her role as more than just serving as a medical point of reference for her patients. She strives to establish the open communication, understanding and trust that foster positive and healthy relationships between doctor and patient. In 2008, just one year into her medical practice, Dladla’s commitment to service earned her a “Patients’ Choice” award, granted to physicians who receive overwhelmingly positive reviews from their patients.

Dladla’s passion for positive health outcomes was evident during her studies toward a master’s degree in clinical research at Weil Cornell Medical College of Cornell University. At the same time, she served as a community health director and was the visionary behind several efforts to increase wellness and health education in the African-American community. She conducted a two-year study on the impact of factors such as environment, culture and attitudes on obesity and cardiovascular risk among Caribbean Black women. 

Dladla is involved in a host of philanthropic activities, including building a library in Vietnam for victims of Agent Orange, mentoring young women in the medical field, promoting the health of women in prison and serving as a role model for women who are victims of prostitution. She hopes to establish her own integrative medical practice focusing on weight management. “The secret to my professional success is understanding that there is an overwhelming and inexhaustible positive and intelligent external force that helps direct, shape and educate our experiences,” she says.

Fun facts
Favorite food:
Asparagus
Favorite charity: Virtue Foundation
Countries visited: Spain, Italy
Jeans/T-shirt or suit: Jeans/T-Shirt
Facebook or LinkedIn: LinkedIn
SUV or Hybrid: SUV

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