As a young medical student, Dr. Tasneem Bhatia started losing her hair. It’s actually a common side effect of the profession—residents work long hours with little sleep, and the stress and exhaustion manifest themselves in physical symptoms. But as Dr. Bhatia began seeking treatment for these health issues, she became frustrated.
“I was offered medication that came with a range of terrible side effects such as potential birth defects and drops in blood pressure,” says the Atlanta native, who graduated from The Westminster Schools.
Not satisfied with the solutions available, Dr. Bhatia began studying alternative therapies. Around the same time, she was working in ERs and noticed what she calls fragmented care. “Patients were on pages of medications, and some lacked an understanding of their health issues,” she says. “Doctors frequently did not communicate with each other and, quite honestly, patients were not getting better.”
Bhatia knew there had to be a better way. Today, the 40-year-old (with a full head of silky hair, thanks to a regimen of vitamins and stress management techniques such as acupuncture) is a renowned physician at the Atlanta Center for Holistic and Integrative Medicine—but don’t let the name fool you. This is not some hippie-chic medical movement. “I think the biggest misconception is that it’s ‘fringe’ medicine practiced by non-physicians,” she says. It’s actually widely accepted and takes into account the entire person’s well-being—physical, emotional and psychological. “The key to healing is understanding individual complexities and developing personalized plans.”
The smooth-skinned beauty has also been tapped by one of daytime’s VIPs—Dr. Oz—to dispense her hard-earned health knowledge, as well as her anti-aging secrets. “I discuss optimal nutrition, sleep and personalized skin-care regimens,” she says. Bhatia is also a proponent of cosmetic acupuncture, a unique treatment that uses a laser to improve blood flow to the face, resulting in fewer wrinkles and tighter facial skin without Botox.
But Bhatia’s practice and passion are much more than skin-deep. “I hope to help educate people on the importance of creating sustainable lifestyles that lead to better health,” she says. “I’d like to look back and know that I played a role in changing the way medicine is practiced.”