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Shelley B. Bhattacharya, D.O., M.P.H.

Shelley Bhattacharya portrait
Professor, Family Medicine and Community Health

Professional Background

I have been a practicing osteopathic physician in the Division of Geriatric Medicine in the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Kansas Medical Center since 2005. I see patients over age 65 primarily at the Landon Center on Aging. My interests include older driving safety, climate change and health, and aging well. I use osteopathic manipulation in addition to traditional medicine tools for treatment.

I also enjoy teaching medical students, residents and fellows. My breadth of educational leadership includes creation of a campus-wide interprofessional course, co-directorship of a module, SOM Threadhead, PBL leader, Geriatrics Curriculum Director, co-creating the Geriatrics Interprofessional Teaching Clinic and being a Fulbright Senior Specialist.

I was the Interprofessional Education and Practice (IPEP) Threadhead for the SOM ACE Curriculum from 2018-2020. My role was to create, implement and evaluate the IPEP curriculum. With that work, all incoming medical students have seen IPE (interprofessional education) competencies threaded within their Year 1 and 2 modules and they see true IP collaboration in practice during Years 3 and 4. I strongly believe that improving healthcare and improving outcomes has to be accomplished by an interprofessional team.

I have been the Assistant Director of the ACE Delp Learning Community since 2017. I have continued my role as a PBL leader from the Legacy to the ACE curriculum; the change to more clinically oriented cases and frequent sessions changed my teaching style to provide more clinical insight and less direct answers for students to find the answers. I was on the KUSOM PBL Workgroup and served to review all the PBL cases, attend a PBL conference and provide faculty development training to the KUSOM PBL faculty here. I truly enjoy teaching, revising cases and providing faculty development in PBL. In addition, serving as a coach to 1st and 2nd year medical students (see below) for over a decade, through live and virtual interactions, has been a mutually rewarding experience.

In September of 2010, I received a 5-year Geriatric Academic Career Award (GACA) funded by HRSA (equivalent to an NIH K Award). With a core faculty team from the Schools of Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Professions and Social Welfare, we created a 24-month Team Based Learning course, the “Geriatrics Champions Program” to teach over 200 learners, and conduct faculty development sessions to over 30 interprofessional faculty annually.

Since then, I have received a 5 year grant from the Department of Transportation looking at exploring clinical tools to improve the on-the-road performance of commercial drivers. I continue to explore ways to collaborate with others.

Education and Training
  • BS, Biochemistry and Cell Biology , University of California, San Diego
  • DO, Oklahoma St. U.-Col. Osteo Med
  • MPH, MPH, University of Pittsburgh, Graduate School of Public Health
  • Residency, Family Medicine , University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA
  • Clinical Fellowship, Geriatric Medicine, University of Pittsburgh
Licensure, Accreditations & Certifications
  • Certificate of Added Qualification in Geriatric Medicine, American Board of Family Medicine
Professional Affiliations
  • American Geriatrics Society, AGS Safe Driving Project, Member, 2018 - Present
  • American Geriatrics Society, Public Education Committee, Member, 2013 - Present
  • American Geriatrics Society, Member, 2012 - Present



During my eighteen years at KUMC, I have developed an area of scholarly interest in "Interprofessional Approaches to Safe Older Driving and Medical Education" resulting in grant and scholarly success. My research vision includes communicating safe driving habits to older drivers, reinforcing driving evaluations to health care providers and encouraging transportation alternatives to older drivers and caregivers. I am the Principal Investigator of an interprofessional (IP) driver’s research team at KUMC. In 2017, we received a 6 year grant from the Department of Transportation (DOT), “Assessing and improving the cognitive and visual driving fitness of Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) drivers”. We are now in our fourth year of the multisite, $2.2 million award.

In 2021, our team was invited to collaborate with KU-Lawrence for the US-DOT Challenge Grant. We are now one of ten semifinalists nationwide to compete for the challenge award. Our proposal ´is to develop an innovative Automated Driving System (ADS) design that operates at Levels 4 and 5 of automation for people with cognitive disabilities.

The DOT award was preceded by two awards given to us by the University of Kansas, Lawrence Transportation Research Institute. “Identifying Compensatory Driving Strategies for Adults With Mild Dementia” for $107, 940 with Dr. Liu in the Department of Physical Therapy, looked at addressing compensatory measures that adults with mild dementia undertake when driving. The second was, ”Driver Safety and the Boomer Dilemma: A Pilot Study for ‘Advanced Driver’s Training’ as Addressing the Attention Challenge” for $30,000 working with the Lawrence team to develop a computer training program to help older adults improve their attention skills while driving. I was appointed to the Committee on Safe Mobility of Older Persons and Medical Advisory Board subcommittee of the Transportation Research Board, a subsidiary of the National Academy of Sciences.

With my Interprofessional interest, I was the PI for one large grant and an investigator in six smaller education grants. In 2009, I was the PI for a Geriatric Academic Career Award funded by HRSA. This was a five-year, $350,000 award and has been explained in the Teaching section. In brief, the primary objective was to create an IP course entailing 30 national geriatric competencies to 200 learners. The grant resulted in over 20 podium and poster presentations, including podium and panel presentations at two international interprofessional conferences.

Current Research and Grants
  • “Assessing and improving the cognitive and visual driving fitness of CDL drivers”, US Dept. of Transportation, Federal Award Number 69A3551747107 , PI