Media release: Dr. Harsha Banavasi joins Harbin Clinic Pulmonary Medicine Rome and will begin taking patients on July 10.
From a young age, Dr. Banavasi knew that he wanted to make a difference in people’s lives. As a pulmonologist and critical care physician, he’s also responsible for solving his patients’ most perplexing and challenging health ailments.
“In Pulmonary Medicine, most of my patients have one symptom, shortness of breath, and there are hundreds of reasons why they could have that,” he says. “My job is to learn all the explanations of why they are suffering – ask their history with a thorough medical examination, look at their medications, see if there are allergies – and then I pull all the pieces together and develop a regimen to better their quality of life.”
As a board-certified pulmonologist and critical care physician, Dr. Banavasi is disciplined in infections of the lungs and chest. Because of the complexity of some of these diseases, his knowledge expands beyond the functions of just the lungs and encompasses understanding the body in its entirety.
“There are numerous diseases that could affect a patient,” says Dr. Banavasi. “And issues aren’t usually connected to just one organ or cause; I have to understand every function of their body and stay up to date on the latest research and current treatment options.”
Says Dr. Kunal Patel of Harbin Clinic Pulmonary Medicine Rome: “We’re very happy to have Dr. Banavasi join us. He brings expertise and proficiency in matters of the chest and lungs. We welcome his knowledge and look forward to introducing him to our community.”
Dr. Banavasi grew up in a small town in India and fought a relapsing form of malaria for years. “I would get sick almost every year,” he says. “And there was not much access to many doctors in our small area.
“One of the times I was sick, a young pediatrician examined me, really got to know me and provided the appropriate treatment,” he continues. “A week later, I had significantly improved and never contracted malaria again.”
Dr. Banavasi recalls his family being thrilled to see him healthy and thriving. “I view him as this person who made such a difference in my life,” he says. “I knew then that I wanted to go into medicine and make the same kind of impact.”
Dr. Banavasi has done just that. From asthma to pneumonia to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Dr. Banavasi has treated severe and life-threatening illnesses and built lasting relationships along the way.
“I remember one veteran patient who smoked for years. He hadn’t seen any doctor in nearly 30 years and was reluctant to schedule an appointment with me,” says Dr. Banavasi. “But he had very severe COPD, and I knew we needed him to begin treatment as soon as possible.”
After a few months of COPD therapy, a patient who once had barely functioning lungs could fully enjoy life thanks to Dr. Banavasi. “Those patients and cases just stay with you,” he explains. “Building relationships and seeing their health improve is the reason I’m in medicine.”
Spending time with patients and really understanding their condition is Dr. Banavasi’s philosophy.
“When things feel rushed, it doesn’t matter how good of a physician you think you are,” he explains. “I believe that when I spend time with my patients and genuinely get to know them, I can make a lasting difference in their health and quality of life.”
When he’s not practicing medicine, Dr. Banavasi enjoys spending time with his wife and daughter, traveling and refining his lifelong hobby of photography.
“My father was a wedding photographer, and a couple of other family members are also in the photography business,” he explains. “It’s something I enjoy when my family and I are exploring nature and traveling.”
Dr. Banavasi received his Doctor of Medicine Degree from Bangalore Medical College & Research Institute in India. He completed his residency in Internal Medicine and Fellowship in Pulmonary and Critical Care at the Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit, Michigan. He has also served as chief fellow during training. Dr. Banavasi is board certified in Pulmonary Medicine and Internal Medicine by the American Board of Internal Medicine and is a member of the American College of Chest Physicians, the American Thoracic Society and the American College of Physicians.