Harsha Bhagtani

harsha-r-bhagtaniHarsha Bhagtani, MD, is a board-certified pediatrician at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center (MFSMC), where she sees patients and teaches Family Medicine residents. In addition, she is a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Dr. Bhagtani's research interests include asthma education, pediatric obesity and the role of community involvement in children’s health.

At MFSMC, Dr. Bhagtani is the director of the Medical Student Pediatric Core Clerkship. In this position, she orients medical students from the University of Maryland to MFSMC, teaches them general pediatrics, and monitors their progress. Her interest in early childhood literacy has led her to become the medical director of the Reach Out and Read program at MFSMC. As part of MFSMC’s Pediatric Asthma Center of Excellence, Dr. Bhagtani coordinates community outreach efforts with Baltimore County school nurses and the “Rally for Health Day,” a health fair highlighting pediatric obesity prevention, safety, literacy, and asthma education in Baltimore County.

Dr. Bhagtani is a frequently invited speaker at professional meetings, speaking on topics including childhood obesity, asthma, nutrition, and physical fitness. Her research has been published in Clinical Pediatrics, Pediatrics and Child Health, and Pediatrics in Review. She has received many honors for her service in teaching and providing care. She was a winner of the Maryland Daily Record’s Health Care Heroes award and has won numerous Family Medicine Teaching Awards at MFSMC. In addition, Baltimore Magazine has listed her as a “Top Doctor.”  

Dr. Bhagtani is a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and has served as a Community Access to Child Health (CATCH) co-facilitator for the AAP’s Maryland chapter. She is a member of the Ambulatory Pediatric Association. Her previous experience includes work as a high-school pediatrician and service as the medical director for the Fit Families program at MFSMC. Her primary language is English, and she also is fluent in Hindi and Sindhi.

Her medical degree is from the Pennsylvania State University School of Medicine.  She completed her residency in pediatrics at Thomas Jefferson University/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children.

Research Interests

Dr. Bhagtani’s research interests include

  • Pediatrics
  • Asthma in children
  • Obesity in children
  • Nutrition and physical activity in children
  • Injury prevention
  • Community involvement in children’s health
  • Translational research
  • Health literacy
  • Pediatric literacy

Selected Research

School Nurse Communication

Dr. Bhagtani is an investigator on this project sponsored by the AAP’s Council on School Health, School Nurse and Pediatrician Partnership.

Reach Out and Read

Dr. Bhagtani serves as medical director at MFSMC for this program sponsored by the AAP Maryland chapter. The goal of this project is to prepare children to succeed in school by partnering with physicians to prescribe books and to encourage families to read together.

View Dr. Bhagtani's publications on PubMed

  • Research Areas
  • Other Medical
  • Primary Care/Pediatrics