Springfield, MO

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12 People You Need to Know in 2012: Dr. Bharat Shah

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Though Dr. Bharat Shah balances multiple professional roles – plastic surgeon, clinic administrator and inventor – he says he’s driven to do more to improve his industry and the community.

“Doctors usually work in a vacuum,” Shah says. “They work in their offices, they take care of their patients (and) they go home. I think our new breed of doctors realizes that you are in the community, and you have to interact with the community and you have to interact with business.”

For Shah, doing more has evolved to stepping into an inventor’s role, blending creativity and science to tap into a passion for new devices aimed at improving patient care.

One of his inventions, the Secure360 Prone Positioning Device, already is in use at St. John’s Children’s Hospital and is on the market for other providers.

The device cuts the positioning process for infant cranial surgeries to about three minutes from 45. Another, the Graft On Skin and Tissue Applicator, aids in laying down real and artificial skin grafts, and the PolyTrak Intermaxillary Fixation System is a plastic alternative to wiring jaws shut after surgery.

Shah balances the demands of his practice and bringing his ideas to life with directing Mercy Medical Spa and Clinic and serving a second term on the board of the health system’s Medical Research Institute, through which he weighs in on the feasibility of other inventors’ ideas.

“If somebody comes in with something that they wanted to make, something that’s a molded plastic health care device, we can do that,” he says. “If it’s nuclear fission, we don’t have it.”

His inventions have helped him connect in the business community, namely through relationships with the manufacturers of the raw materials used in his products. He’s also a member of the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce and a clinical instructor for Missouri State University’s physician assistant program.

“I contribute to individual patients, but how am I going to make things better for others?,” says Shah, a plastic surgeon and section chairman of Mercy Clinic Plastic Surgery. “Someone has to do it, and I enjoy that concept that we’re always evolving and able to do more.”[[In-content Ad]]


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