Former UCEDD Trainee Spotlight: Natasha Bhuyan, MD

Sonoran UCEDD Updates
Summer 2015
by Jacob Coldsmith, MPA, 2014-2016 Trainee

Natasha Bhuyan wasNatasha Bhuyan, MD part of the Sonoran UCEDD trainee class of 2009.  We thought it would be interesting to catch up with her to see what she is doing now, how the Sonoran UCEDD trainee program affected her life and work, what was most valuable to her about the program, and what advice she might give to current students.

Dr. Bhuyan, UA College of Medicine Class of 2012 and former Sonoran UCEDD trainee, is currently the Chief Resident in Family Medicine at Banner University Medical Center Phoenix.  She works with patients with diverse needs in a wide variety of settings including a long-term care facility.  She focuses on the whole patient, including social needs, to help them reach their health care goals.  She said that it’s so important to get to know patients on a personal basis, not just their health concerns, so they can get healthier within their context with their specific challenges.  With this whole-patient information, goals can be tailored and obstacles addressed to help interventions be more successful.  Seeing the look of accomplishment on a patient’s face when they have set goals and achieved them, is one of the most rewarding aspects of her current position.  Dr. Bhuyan will complete her residency program in July 2015 and will begin practice as a family physician with One Medical Group in Phoenix.

Dr. Bhuyan said that the Sonoran UCEDD trainee program impacted her life and work tremendously.  She first learned about person-centered care and future care planning in the trainee program.  The Sonoran UCEDD introduced to her the idea that the patient should be at the center. Finding out what the barriers to health care and coordinating care around the patient are concepts that are at the heart of her work today.  Dr. Bhuyan has arranged classes for patients and their families to come and talk about future planning needs. 

On a personal level, Dr. Bhuyan believes having the opportunity to work with people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD) has made her a better doctor. 

She advises any student who is interested in working with diverse populations to get involved with the UCEDD trainee program because the lessons learned can be applied to all types of marginalized groups.  She advises current trainees to get involved in projects that are available as much as possible.  “If you are too busy to take on a project alone then form a group with other trainees in order to accomplish the goals.  Don’t let lack of time keep you from getting involved with the available projects and opportunities”.

As a closing note, Dr. Bhuyan didn’t realize how much the UCEDD trainee program would affect her life and work.  She says that it’s amazing how much she still remembers and still finds useful to her career from her trainee experience in learning communication tools, to the importance of being a health policy advocate.