Members of the Month:
Bharat Joshi and Sanjana Bhattarai
Married physicians balance family and careers to find personal and professional joy
By Kate Alfano
Bharat Joshi, MD, and Sanjana Bhattarai, MD, have been practicing family medicine physicians for more than 10 years. For the past five years they have served clinical faculty at Baylor College of Medicine, teaching medical students and serving Vallbona Clinic, a community-based clinic with Harris Health System. Both were born and raised in Nepal and attended medical school in Dhaka University, Bangladesh. They worked several years in Nepal before relocating to the United States. Joshi also completed pediatric and adolescent medicine training in Nepal and they both completed a family medicine residency at Louisiana State University, Monroe. As international medical graduates, their journey has been different from many, but their goals have remained the same throughout: to serve their patients with a holistic approach and to love what they do as physicians.
Both are active members of AAFP and TAFP. They were awarded the honor of "fellows" of the American Academy of Family Physicians in 2017 and recently completed the Family Medicine Leadership Experience through TAFP.
Who or what inspired you to become physicians?
Bharat (B): Most of my childhood was focused on education and medicine was a particular field that caught my eye. Ever since then I had an innate passion for medicine in hopes of someday becoming a doctor. My parents were very supportive in my pursuit of my career.
Sanjana (S): My parents encouraged me in my decision to become a physician. They inspired me to study whatever subject I had a passion for, and luckily enough it was medicine. I am very glad that I made the decision to become a physician.
What gives you most joy in day-to-day professional life?
B: Working as a primary care physician, I enjoy the continuous relationship with patients and taking care of diverse population of all ages. Additionally, the team and our shared values gives me joy at work.
S: It is satisfying at the end of the day to see patients getting better and making better health choices. It gives me immense joy to teach students and watch them grow.
How did you meet?
B: We met in Kathmandu, Nepal, and were married after finishing medical school. We have been blessed with a son, Sanshuv, who is 17 years old, and a daughter, Aarya, who is 9 years old.
What challenges and joys come from a medical marriage?
S: Medical marriage has been a joy. Working in the same system, we get to share our lunch hour together and spend more time together. Having similar experiences and struggles has led to more personal understanding and less workplace burnout. It also comes with the challenge of with child care and spending quality time with our children, as we both have demanding work schedules. We have learned to separate work and family activities and have been blessed with extended family close by which has been a great help.
What do you like to do outside of medicine?
B: Outside of medicine, we spend most of our time with our family. We love to travel and make memories with our kids. Every year or two we go back to Nepal for a few weeks to spend time with our parents. I like outdoor activities like hiking and running. I also enjoy doing yoga, meditation, and reading books.
S: In addition I enjoy painting, which has been my longtime hobby. Lately I have been spending more time painting with my daughter who is very passionate about the arts.
TAFP’s Member of the Month program highlights Texas family physicians in TAFP News Now and on the TAFP website. We feature a biography and a Q&A with a different TAFP member each month and his or her unique approach to family medicine. If you know an outstanding family physician colleague who you think should be featured as a Member of the Month or if you’d like to tell your own story, nominate yourself or your colleague by contacting TAFP by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (512) 329-8666. View past Members of the Month here.