Ratings for Dr. Chitra Bhakta
Dr. Bhakta did help me, and I believe her motivations to help others are true and good. She is a knowledgable doctor, and a lovely lady, but her opinions and moods can vary wildly with each visit, possibly from the stress caused by a constantly rotating staff, but more likely from a technician who has been with her for years, who seems to enjoy creating drama sometimes in lieu of correcting simple mistakes within the office. Dr. B will never admit any wrongdoing, so you have to be your own best advocate. What could have happened within several months took several years in her clinic and was not without undue stress, although her staff has gotten better recently. If you are going to see Dr. Bhakta you should know a few things... 1. Always do your research and follow your gut if you feel something is unsafe. Read the fine print on any treatment! 2. She is knowledgable, but she is human and can miscommunicate or get confused. For instance, if she or any staff member asks you to quit your medication so you can take lab tests, they are probably referring to a test for the lyme bacteria only. You need clarification on this. Call the lab for instructions if needed. Quitting medication is not a good idea until you are done with treatment. It can delay recovery by many months and can cause symptoms to worsen. 3. If I had to do it again I would always pay out of pocket for an expensive recommended treatment and not expect reimbursement. Personally, my health was a time-sensitive matter. Yes, I may have spent several thousands of dollars, but it could have taken years for the office to submit proper documentation for insurance coverage. I waited over eight months until I decided to bite the bullet and pay up front for several months of IVIG. 6 months after I finished a 5 month treatment, I received notice that the proper forms were finally submitted, and I was informed that although I may have gotten coverage if I’d started at that point, reimbursement would no longer be an option. 4. Because of the stigma associated with the tests she recommends, most of Dr. Bhakta’s labs are listed as a “no-draw.” You will not find a single lab who will simply draw blood for you outside of this office, so don’t bother trying to find one. All the tests Dr. B suggested besides the live blood analysis are extremely informative and well worth it. 5. If you need to get an important time sensitive message to Dr. Bhakta, you will definitely need to make an appointment with Dr. B, whether via phone or in person. If you go there in person, pack a lunch and be prepared to wait up to 3 hours on busy days (however I have waited as little as 15 minutes on several occasions.) 6. Not everything is lyme! Always consider alternative treatments first that may address other causes for symptoms. I am not a doctor and cannot advise anyone, but speaking from personal experience I believe that essential oils, ozone therapy, hormone replacement therapy and chelation helped me immensely as well as the IVIG that Dr. B recommends.
Dr Bhakta is the most thorough doctor that I have ever been to, and I've been to ALOT. At my first appt with her we spent about 4 hours going through my medical history, while she rapidly took notes the entire time. She seemed to ask all the right questions and actually let me explain everything. She may seem aggressive at times, as other reviewers have said, but I couldn't care less - I just need a doctor who knows how to treat Lyme and can get me better. She seems extremely smart and knowledgeable about new Lyme related breakthroughs happening and discusses the relevant things. Other reviewers have complained about wait times, but I don't think Ive ever waited more than 15 minutes. But - after years of doctors being dismissive or rushing out the door while throwing some random prescription at me, I honestly wouldn't mind if I did have a long wait.
In my opinion I strongly caution against: However if you like setting fire to your cash, hearing the same speech over & over again about how smart she is while being charged like 7 hundred dollars an hour & have none of your questions & concerns answered then you've hit the jackpot & found your dream Dr. - Rude, won't return phone calls, has the most inneficient staff I have ever seen, your constantly lied too & get the old 'run around' treatment constantly (they told me if I can't afford their service perhaps I should look elsewhere, this coming from a 10 dollar an hour employee who I could buy & sell 500 times over)...I've seen 4 year olds make less mistakes & show better personal skills, charges you for blood tests that she never delivers on..In closing unless you enjoy punishment & love getting worked over I would strongly advise finding another Dr. - Also is you like being yelled at and told your stupid while she speaks to you in a condescending tone then once again you've struck gold..If you have a cough or a sniffle she may be able to help but it will cost you thousands of dollars and you will be worse than when you started . Buyer beware !!
Overall, I would say 15 mins of the 2 hours or so she spends with you are all you need for your initial consultation. She spends a majority of the time pushing you to buy air filters, tons of supplements, and huge and painstaking diet changes. I'm sure she has a point to some degree, but it's very overwhelming and gets pretty uncomfortable to sit through. All you really need (if Lyme or tick-borne illness isn't your issue) is her take on your symptoms, what is going on, and the blood tests she sees approriate. I'm waiting on the results, will see her for the 4 week follow up, but don't think I will be back. And while she has a sign in the lobby excusing tardiness on her end, I still think it's not very professional to have to wait an hour past your appointment time to see her, which I did.
Dr. Bhakta caters to the legions of people who are chronically ill and have been unable to figure out what's wrong, let alone find a cure. And, as with me, she seems convinced that all of them have lyme disease and need heavy-duty antibiotics along with hundreds of dollars worth of supplements. The "try anything and everything until you get better" approach works for a fraction of desperately ill people but 1)has little scientific basis and 2)makes some patients even sicker! After consulting Dr. Bhakta several times and earnestly trying her protocols, I saw no improvement in my health-- just a lot of $$ out the window and a lot of expensive blood tests that didn't reveal anything surprising. I was concerned when she was unable to answer my questions about the success rate of her treatments. So I left her clinic and instead began the "do nothing until you get better" approach. I am pleased to say that upon abandoning her aggressive "treatment", I am now about 60% improved.
I consulted this doctor about the possibility of having Lyme. She basically ranted about herself for over an hour, never examined me and suggested long term IV antibiotics. I was concerned and thought another opinion. I had unknown liver damage and IV antibiotics would of injured me permanently. she is careless.
Dr. Bhakta is a master at getting to the root of the problem. I was diagnosed with lyme disease after 20 of several doctors doing nothing but giving me meds that would put me in the ER. I tested CDC positive so it should have been picked up by them. She also did genetic testing because of my reactions and we now know what I can and cannot take due to these genetic issues. NO other doctor even took the time nor had the knowledge that these tests are out there at Universities across the country. She treats each person with care and compassion. This type of treatment takes time and you must understand that it takes your body a long time to get in this position and it takes an experienced brilliant doctor like her to get you out of it. She has been a Godsend to keep me going for my family.
I first saw Dr. Bhakta in early 2010. She spent nearly 3 hours with me on my first appointment, completing the most thorough medical history anyone had ever taken from me. To the parent of the child with Autism, below: You may have had to wait for your appointment, but the same level of care that made the doctor run late was, no doubt, given to you and your son as well. This level of care is impossible to come by in standard medical offices. In fact, you mention that the doctor ordered a Lyme test that came back POSITIVE. If you had let the doctor explain the complexity of this disease to you, and how rare it is to test positive for Lyme, there may have been less resistance on your part to have additional confirmatory tests run before proceeding with what can be aggressive treatment. For anyone looking for a doctor open to tackling a complex medical condition, especially an unexplained long term chronic illness, I would, without hesitation, recommend Dr. Bhakta!
Dr. Chitra Bhakta's Credentials
Accepting New Patients
Yes, this doctor is accepting new patients
- Osmania Med Coll, Univ Hlth Sci, Vijayawada, Hyderabad, Ap, India (Grad. 1981)
Areas of Expertise
Awards & Recognitions
Publications & Research
Insurance accepted by this Doctor
- Coventry Health Care