Shetty's character, Divya, doesn't tell her parents that she works as a physician's assistant because she fears they would not approve of such a menial job. This season, Divya is also torn between her parents' desire for her to marry a close family friend and her attraction to another man.
Shetty can relate - and knows that others can, too.
"We are shown that success is very important, so we work, we work, we work and we are given independence," Shetty said last week. But she understands the sense of duty to Eastern tradition to follow parents' wishes, including their choice for a marriage partner and what profession to pursue.
Shetty was on track to become a doctor like her father when her family moved from England to the United States when she was 16. But she really wanted to pursue acting and singing.
She says her father was upset at first. She told him she realized her parents had sacrified much by moving and that they brought her to the U.S. to give her opportunities.
"I want to be able to use what you've given me and that means a choice," she recalled telling her father.
The actress says her parents relented and are avid fans of the show.
"Royal Pains," which follows the life of a "concierge doctor" in the ritzy Hamptons, airs Thursdays on the USA Network at 8 p.m. Eastern.