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Thursday, Nov 21, 2019

Made in Chandigarh: I found the direction of my career path at PGIMER, says Dr Rohit Bhatia

Chandigarh was where this doctor decided to specialise in neurology, something that was closest to his heart

cities Updated: Oct 15, 2019 23:55 IST
Ribha Sood
Ribha Sood
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Dr Rohit Bhatia
Dr Rohit Bhatia (HT File)


Fond of singing and playing the guitar, Dr Bhatia is a neurologist working with the All Indian Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi. He has to his credit several publications and journals related to the field of clinical neurology and neurosurgery and has been honoured with International Travel Scholarship of the American Academy of Neurology, 2007; Bursary Award of the World Federation of Neurology, 2005; and Travel Bursary Awards, Department of Science and Technology, Council of Scientific & Industrial Research.


Ludhiana, Punjab


He is married to Vandana Bhatia, MD in gynaecology, who is working as an infertility specialist at a private IVF centre in New Delhi. The two met while he was studying medicine in Patiala. The couple has two children. Daughter Sanjana is a medical student in Jawahar Lal Nehru College, Belgaum, while son Arjun is a Class 10 student at a school in New Delhi.


After completing Class 10 from Sacred Heart Convent School and Class 12 from Government College for Boys, Ludhiana, Dr Bhatia did his MBBS from Government Medical College, Patiala, joining the Government Medical College, Amritsar, for an MD in medicine. He did his DM in neurology from the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh, and later worked in the neurology department. In 2003, he joined AIIMS as an assistant professor. Now he is full professor of neurology at the institute. He has attended Summer School of Mycology of Paris in 2006, was an observer at Barrow’s Institute of Neurology, Phoenix, USA, in 2007; and did a one-year fellowship in cerebrovascular disorders (stroke) from The Calgary Stroke Programme at Foothills Medical Centre, University of Calgary, Canada.

My area of expertise

Stroke, neuro-immunology, headache disorders, neuro-critical care

My secret sauce

Success is a perspective. However, I set goals, pursue them with a method and do my best to achieve them. I always wanted to study neurology, I always thought about it, eventually I followed that path and became successful. If you follow your aim with passion, success will follow you.

The mantra of success in your profession

Stay connected with patient care and knowledge. It is important to have wisdom and understanding in medicine. Be committed and keep yourself updated about the latest developments in your field. Take time analysing patients and be very critical while understanding symptoms and making diagnosis.

The turning point

I can say that getting selected for DM in neurology at PGIMER, Chandigarh, was a turning point in my life as it was a shift from general medicine to studying a specialised course in a subject that was very close to my heart. The path towards becoming an expert in the field had been set.

What I owe to Chandigarh

The intensive training at PGIMER set the base for what was to follow. It helped me analyse, understand and evolve as a neurology specialist. I found the direction of my career path here. Chandigarh gave me some very fond memories, colleagues, friends and teachers. My special bond with PGIMER is alive even now.

Things I like to do when I visit Chandigarh

I visit the city intermittently, mostly to attend academic meetings at PGI. However, I also make occasional trips to meet friends and colleagues. Our families get together and share old memories of DM days with our children.

How has the city changed over the years?

With expanding satellite townships and new emerging housing societies, Chandigarh has witnessed a lot of development over the years. There was nothing ahead of the PGI Road back then. However, today a whole New Chandigarh has come up. Though the city’s beauty and greenery are still alive, traffic has increased over the years. Earlier, Chandigarh was more peaceful. Even though the city has done away with a few roundabouts, others that remain have been transformed aesthetically.

The change I would want to see in the city

Don’t remove all the roundabouts. They add to the city’s beauty in the spring. Due to increasing traffic, steps should be taken to keep pollution levels down. PGIMER has its own importance here. I am looking forward to the completion of the neuroscience centre at the hospital. It will be another feather in the cap of Chandigarh.

The best advice I’ve ever got

My parents always said, “Whatever you do, do it heartily, with commitment, and everything else will just follow.”

My advice to youngsters in my field

Just stay dedicated. If you have the right kind of attitude in life, you will definitely succeed in whatever you do.