Pursuing Interdisciplinary Passions

As the chief health and innovation officer at Commure, health care's first intelligent operating system built to accelerate empathetic innovation and reimagine care delivery, Saurabha Bhatnagar, M.D. combines his passion for medicine, technology, and design to create responsible technology solutions that empower the health care workforce across the globe. The interdisciplinary tools he needs to excel in his career were incubated at Illinois Institute of Technology.

“My experience as a software programmer working on Interprofessional Projects (IPRO) [courses] involved learning from faculty at world-class institutions such as the Institute of Design and the Chicago-Kent College of Law as a student in the College of Computing,” he says. “I was trained by this interdisciplinary faculty with the tools to realize that very complex problems—the problems worth solving—are untangled with high-performing teams with various skill sets.”

After earning a bachelor’s degree in computer science at Illinois Tech, Dr. Bhatnagar enrolled in medical school. He became a physical medicine and rehabilitation physician with specialized training in traumatic brain injury and neurorehabilitation. This combination of technology, business, and clinical skills allows him to pursue his passion for leading innovative digital solutions in health care.

Dr. Bhatnagar says he also has a passion for teaching fueled by his time as an M. A. and Lila Self Leadership Academy scholar, which he satisfies as a director and faculty member in several global executive education and master’s degree programs at Harvard Medical School.

“Illinois Tech made me a more well-rounded individual, and those experiences had a hand in shaping what I do today,” Bhatnagar says. “Every day, in my own work, I use the concepts of design or technology I learned in school, and also teach those same concepts to global executives coming to Harvard Medical School. So, I would encourage students to stay curious, as there will be many unknown ways that they will apply what they learn now, in the future.”

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