It’s every parent’s dream that their children will have a successful and promising future, and most would do anything to make that happen. Puja Bhakta’s parents forged a better life for her and her brother by moving to Texas from India.
“They left their hometown,” says Bhakta, an oral and maxillofacial surgeon with Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons BayCare Clinic. “They came to a country where they didn’t speak the language or know anybody, and because of their sacrifices, they have two children who became physicians. They did that for us, and I am so thankful they did.”
In college, Bhakta intended to be a teacher, but changed her career path to medicine after going on mission trips.
“My parents are big into giving back, and they got my brother and I involved in mission trips from a young age,” she says. “Neither one of my parents are physicians, but they would volunteer with a group of physicians. I participated in mission trips to Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua and several parts of India during college. I continued a little through my graduate and post-graduate training, but it became harder as I progressed in residency. It is definitely something I plan to continue through my life.”
Bhakta attended dental school at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio. She began her residency in oral and maxillofacial surgery at Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee and completed it at Massachusetts General Hospital Harvard Medical School in Boston.
While growing up, Bhakta worked at her dad’s hotel, which helped develop her work ethic.
“I grew up working around the hotel. It was smaller jobs when I was younger, but as I grew up, it was working at the front-desk, helping with reservations or just anywhere where help was needed,” she says. “My dad forced us to take part in all aspects of running the hotel, so we knew what each person contributed to the team. It definitely fostered a strong work ethic and reinforced the importance of teamwork in the workplace from a young age.”
Oral surgery patients often are nervous and anxious, but Bhakta strives to ease those concerns.
“When I meet a patient, I really do my best to get to know them, and not just what brought them here,” Bhakta says. “The more I can truly connect with them and get to know them, the more comfortable they will be and that is very important to me.”
When she’s not treating patients, Bhakta loves spending time outdoors with her new dog, Charlie.
Dr. Puja Bhakta is an oral and maxillofacial surgeon with BayCare Clinic. She sees patients in Green Bay, Manitowoc and Sturgeon Bay.
About BayCare Clinic
BayCare Clinic, baycare.net, is the largest physician-owned specialty-care clinic in northeastern Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. It is based in Green Bay, Wisconsin. BayCare Clinic offers expertise in more than 20 specialties, with more than 100 physicians serving in 16 area communities. BayCare Clinic is a joint partner in Aurora BayCare Medical Center, a 167-bed, full-service hospital. Follow BayCare Clinic on Facebook and Twitter.