Dr. Bhaswati Bhattacharya - Ayurveda, Integrative Medicine, Ayurveda
Total years in practice: 20
Dr. Bhaswati Bhattacharya
Trained as a biomedical scientist, international public health specialist, and primary care physician before gaining skills as a holistic healer, Dr. Bhaswati Bhattacharya now practices and teaches Ayurveda and holistic family medicine in Manhattan and in India. Bhaswati became interested in holistic & alternative medicines from her family ancestry of Ayurvedic and Sanskrit scholars: a biomedically-trained father, who was a clinical infertility specialist, a recognized and awarded scientist, and a veterinarian specializing in cows; and an herbalist mother who still maintains a routine of Sanskrit chants, reading the Gita, and daily puja while working for the State Department of Health.
Bhaswati has been working in complementary medical education since 1989. As a licensed primary care physician practicing both in inner-city Brooklyn and Manhattan, she is board-certified in holistic medicine and preventive medicine. She is Clinical Assistant Professor of Family Medicine in the Department of Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College of Cornell University in New York. Bhaswati serves as Director of The Dinacharya Institute in New York, teaching workshops, seminars, and directing a training programs for Ayurvedic Health Coaches. She is former Director of Research and the former Director of the Division of Complementary & Alternative Medicines (CAM) at Wyckoff Heights Medical Center, where she worked from 2001 until 2011.
Her academic training includes a baccalaureate (BA) in the Biological Basis of Behavior from the University of Pennsylvania; a masters degree in pharmacology and neuroscience (MA) from Columbia University with 6 years of graduate work in biotechnology, biomedical sciences and laboratory work toward a PhD; a masters degree in international public health (MPH) from Harvard University; and a medical doctorate (MD) from Rush Medical College in Chicago. Her residency trainings in family practice at Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital and in community & preventive medicine at Mount Sinai provided skillsets to work fluently with the underserved in Spanish, Bengali and Hindi. In addition, she has several certifications in holistic healing arts. She has completed a mid-career PhD from the department of Rasa Shastra & Bhaisajya Kalpana in the Faculty of Ayurveda at Banaras Hindu University in Varanasi, UP, India, specializing in ancient chemistry, pharmaceutics and polyherbal and herbomineral formulations. Published research from her thesis has won a national award. She continues formal study of Sanskṛt with an Indian full professor specializing in vyakarana, Sanskṛt grammar.
Bhaswati’s holistic training comes both through numerous formal courses and through traditional apprenticeship known as gurukula still practiced by traditional healers. She has worked in Tibet, India, China, Nepal, Brazil, Nigeria, South Africa, El Salvador, France, Switzerland, Germany, England, and Ireland. Before medical school, she was engaged in ten years of biomedical research, active international public health work and consulting projects in medical education, biotechnology, medical publishing, and medical advertising. She also spent a year in management on Wall Street in investment banking and maintained part-time consulting jobs throughout her schooling to pay heavy school tuitions & fees.
Alongside formal schooling, Bhaswati has maintained an ongoing pursuit of knowledge in traditional medicines, studying formally under Drs. Ted Kaptchuk, David Eisenberg, Rachel Naomi Remen, Ben Kligler, Ellen Tattelman, Jeffrey Bland, Norman Farnsworth, Deepak Chopra, PR Krishnakumar, V Vasudevan, Biswajit Mukherjee, Joseph Helms, Vivek Shanbhag, Aparna Bapat, Vasudha Gupta, and her academic mentors Iain Aitken, Chandra Bhushan Jha and the late human rights activist Jonathan Mann. Bhaswati accepted the vows of vidyaarambham, the traditional entrance into ayurvedic apprenticeship from the late PadmaBhushan Vaidya Raghavan Thirumulpad in 2001. She goes to India annually to study and then incorporates traditional medical systems directly into her clinical practices, where she provides holistic medical care for the underserved as well as for insured patients, using herbs, nutrition, exercise counseling, Ayurveda, energywork, mind-body medicine, homeopathy, yoga, and aromatherapy.
Bhaswati is the recipient of the 1998 American Holistic Medical Association national award. Bhaswati worked at the NIH Office of Alternative Medicine in 1994, now known as NCCIH. She was selected to the NIH Advisory Panel of the Complementary Medical Education Task Force in 1996. From 1995 until 1998, she served as the National Coordinator of the Humanistic Medicine Task Force of AMSA. She was selected from over 4000 graduates as the Commencement Graduate Orator at Harvard University in 1993, the only Indian and the second woman in history, where she received international coverage for her outspoken views alongside then Joint Chiefs of Staff Colin Powell in a speech on blind traditions and the need for insightful healing as we shape policies. She received the 2004 AMA Leadership Award for her work in holistic medicine and international health. In 2008, she received the award for Outstanding Global Service to Ayurveda from the Arogyadham Foundation in Uttar Pradesh, India. In 2010, she received the Kiran Lifetime Award for her work in Ayurveda from the Womens International Network. She was selected in 2013 as a senior Fulbright scholar to research the concept of Ojas and to teach Ayurveda in India, at Banaras Hindu University in Varanasi. In 2014, she was nominated as one of the top 50 Thinkers in India by MTC Global. In 2018, she has been appointed after peer-review as a Fulbright Specialist 2018-2021 in Global Public Health, specializing in Integrative Medicine and Ayurveda. In 2019, NAMA has awarded her Ayurvedic Doctor (AD).
Bhaswati has written several creative and technical works in textbooks and journals and magazines focusing on educating and healing the healers. She served as the founding medical director of InnerDoorway, the premier publishing company for peer-reviewed medical journals in alternative medicines, now known as InnoVision Communications. She served as author and founding co-Principal Investigator and co-author of EDCAM, a NIH-funded grant to AMSA that successfully created a curriculum with 96 experts integrating holistic medicine into medical schools in the US from 2002 to 2007. Bhaswati served for 5 years on the Board of Trustees of the American Holistic Medical Association. She has served as the CAM expert as a contributor to Dorland’s Medical Dictionary and as the chair of the CAM Advisory Council of the Elsevier medical publishing group. She wrote a newspaper column for The Indian Express NA newspaper for several years and was medical editor for two years. Bhaswati also served terms on the Board of Directors of the South Asian Public Health Association (www.sapha.net), Sakhi for South Asian Women, an organization working to end violence against women, and on the Asian American Advisory Council of then New York Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Since 2006, Bhaswati has focused her energies on the development of Ayurveda in the USA and worldwide. Bhaswati was the Education Director at Kerala Ayurveda Academy from 2006 to 2007. She has served full terms on the Board of Directors of NAMA (USA) 2008-2011, and the Association of Ayurvedic Professionals of North America (www.aapna.org). She also served on the Steering Committee of the International Working Groups on Ayurveda supported from 2009 to 2011, by the Government of India, Department of AYUSH under the Ministry of Health. She was the chair of the AUSAC, Ayurved-US Advisory Council, sponsored by the Embassy of India in Washington DC, under the auspices of the Department of AYUSH, which worked on a paper on the Status of Ayurveda in the USA. She served on the Board of Advisors of The Emami/Zandu Group from 2009 to 2011. Bhaswati is currently creating a visual journey in Ayurvedic medicine through her filmmaking company, Betel Nut Productions. Her work has been featured in a documentary called Healers: Journey into Ayurveda, that premiered worldwide in July 2003 on The Discovery Channel and is now available on Amazon.com. In November 2011, she founded a movement for competency standards worldwide in Ayurveda called the Council for Ayurvedic Credentialing (www.cayurvedac.com), with a mission to create and disseminate documents to assist Ayurvedic education worldwide; the first set of documents offer Ayurvedic teaching standards, well-defined scopes of practice, and tools for the various levels of education and educators of Ayurveda in the USA. Published by Penguin Random House in late 2015, her book Everyday Ayurveda is a national best-seller in India. She is working on a second book on Ayurveda for release in 2020.
Bhaswati continues to serve the holistic community by actively lecturing and providing workshops internationally. She continues to engage in medical education projects, public health consulting assignments, and service projects globally that focus on Ayurveda, in addition to the essential skill of clinical practice.