From an early age, Dr. Natasha Bhagat has had a deep passion for healthcare and personal wellness. When she was an undergrad at The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, she majored in human nutrition and fitness. From there, the understanding, treatment and care of diabetes and sports medicine took root. When it comes to foot and ankle care, a deep interest in both is paramount to just a physician’s success but also their patients’ outcomes.

Her ability to connect with people about their physical activity and how taking care of themselves has ripple effects across their overall health and up and down their kinetic chain has made her a favorite among patients. When you have a physician who understands wanting to be active and the frustrations associated with foot and ankle pain, you have a connection that’s important when treating injuries and pain to that area.

“I'm really active when it comes to physical fitness and so I get it with foot and ankle pain and how important it is to stay active and make sure you're pain free. That’s a huge priority for me and one of the many ways I evaluate my patients,” said Dr. Bhagat.

As an athlete and healthcare professional, she knows firsthand how essential it is to prevent injuries and ailments, but also why you need a care provider who’s also in the race, not just a spectator.

“I love working out, lifting, boxing, running, hiking, all that fun stuff. But I also know how seriously my patients who are athletes take their work,” said Dr. Bhagat. “For people who have fun doing these activities that are also very challenging, both physically and mentally, they need someone in their corner who gets how important it is to be able to continue to do it well and comfortably for as long as possible.”

Dr. Bhagat also understands that everyone has different activity levels, so what qualifies an elite athlete in one exam room, can also mean that in another, there’s someone who just wants to be mobile enough to play with their grandchildren in the backyard. That perspective and understanding makes her a great doctor to treat a diverse array of foot and ankle issues.

“I'm really motivated to help my patients stay active and be active without pain on their feet. In addition to helping everyone, from diabetics to those just suffering from plantar fasciitis, from a nutritional standpoint, I get how critical it is that people retain their mobility,” said Dr. Bhagat. “It comes down to maintaining their quality of life. With that comes their ability to move their body and move around in their lives like they did before any podiatric problems. I feel it’s my job to help my patients keep that independence.”

Her approach to patient care reflects these principles. She’s always enjoyed getting to know the people who come into her exam rooms. When she joins her patients to talk about their ailments and options, the energy is always positive and she’s ready to find a solution to whatever brings someone into her care.

When it comes to that care, one of the things she’s enjoyed the most about her relationships with her patients is just getting them to feel better and be, where she calls, a happier place.