Name: Bhavika Amin, NP
Specialty: Family Nurse Practitioner, Rheumatology
Education: George Mason University, George Washington University
Areas of Expertise: Rheumatology, Arthritis and Osteoporosis
Current Position: Nurse Practitioner at Rheumatology, Arthritis and Osteoporosis Center of Northern Virginia
1. Why did you choose to be a nurse practitioner?
My love for biology started in middle school. I actually enjoyed dissecting an owl’s regurgitated pellets and fetal pigs. Combining that with the idea of helping others feel better at their worst moments lead me to nursing. I continued my studies after working as a bedside nurse in critical care to become a NP.
2. What area of your specialty is changing most rapidly?
It is an interesting time to be in rheumatology. We are seeing numerous new treatment options with FDA approval as well as changes in treatment guidelines such as the ones recently made for treatment of psoriatic arthritis.
3. What is the last journal article or piece of research that significantly changed your practice?
In May 2017, tocilizumab received FDA approval for treatment of giant cell arteritis (GCA). This is a significant scientific advancement in the rheumatology field as it has been more than 50 years since there has been another treatment option available for GCA, apart from long-term prednisone.
4. What are your research interests?
I am interested in the modifiable risk factors as it pertains to rheumatologic conditions, particularly the role of intestinal microbiome and a patient’s diet. I am closely following ongoing research and integrating it into my practice with my patients. I plan to develop a concise modifiable risk factors program for these patients, allowing them some control over their treatment journey.
5. Outside of your daily practice, do you have any personal or professional projects that you’re passionate about?
Painting is my creative outlet and whenever I get a block of time to myself, I take out all my painting supplies and experiment. In the professional realm, I work on showing my support to NPs by being an active member at our local nurse practitioner council, being a preceptor for NP students and guest lecturing to them as well.
6. Who are your mentors?
I have had different mentors at every stage of life, few excelling in the support they offer and others in being role models and inspiring me to visualize my future 5 to 10 years from now. This includes my strict go-getter father, my supportive husband, a super do it all NP at my first practice and the current doctor that I work with.
7. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
The best advice I hear on a frequent basis comes in form of a Tom Hank’s quote, “It’s supposed to be hard. If it were easy, everyone would do it.” My husband uses this to remind me when working on something new to reach further and do more than required. It is more of his way of saying “yes it is hard, deal with it.” Plus, who does not like Tom Hanks?
8. How do you motivate patients to do what’s best for their health?
It starts with listening carefully and seeing where they really are on if I may call it the motivation spectrum. Some need some harsh talking to and others may just need some reinforcement. You definitely cannot go about it the same way with all patients. I also like to use as many diagrams, models and analogies as possible to help them grasp the reality of what is going on with their bodies.
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