Skip to Main Content

Bharathi Swaminathan, MD

Bharathi Swaminathan, MD
Discipline Chair and Associate Professor, PM&R; EMG Fellowship Director; Site Director, PM&R Residency Program

Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation

Dr. Bharathi Swaminathan received her medical degree from Madurai Kamaraj University Medical College in India. She completed her internship in preliminary surgery at St. Francis Medical Center in Trenton, NJ, and her residency at the Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center in Brooklyn, NY, where she was Chief Resident. She also completed a fellowship in clinical neurophysiology at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. She is Board Certified by the American Board of Brain Injury Medicine, the American Board of Electro Diagnostic Medicine, and the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

Dr. Swaminathan joined the Chicago Medical School faculty in 2004. She is discipline chair of physical medicine and rehabilitation, where she is also an associate professor. She is the clinical electrodiagnostic fellowship director of the Chicago Medical School/Marianjoy PM&R fellowship program, the site director for the Chicago Medical School/Marianjoy PM&R residency program, and the site co-coordinator for the PM&R medical student rotation. Each year since 2016, she has sponsored two M1 and two M2 medical students for a summer research internship and one M4 medical student for a senior research elective.

She currently works at the Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center (FHCC), where she is department head of Physical Medicine and Rehab services as well as a staff physician. She has previously served as a staff physician at Mercy Hospital and Medical Center in Chicago and the Clement Zablocki VA Medical Center in Milwaukee.

Dr. Swaminathan has received many honors and awards, including the Illinois State Congressional Award for Excellent Care and Rehabilitation of Mind and Spirit for the PMR department, two physician recognition awards from the FHCC Medical Center Director and Chief Medical Executive, the Proud to Care Award from the FHCC Medical Center Director, two Patient’s Choice Awards, and the Certificate of Excellence for an Outstanding Scientific Presentation at Rush University Research Forum.

She serves on several committees at the FHCC, including her role as co-chair of the Pain Committee (2017 – present) and the Research and Development Committee (2015 – present). She is also a Co-Mentor for the PMR and RT/CATS Leadership Mentoring Program. At Chicago Medical School, she is an Academic Advisory committee member and MMI interviewer, and an active participant in on-campus educational and mentorship events such as Camp Neuro.

Dr. Swaminathan serves on committees for several national organizations, including the Practice Review Panel committee (PIRP) in American Association of Neuromuscular and Electrodiagnostic Medicine (ANEM), American Board of Electrodiagnostic Medicine Maintenance of Certification committee and the Neuromuscular Self-Assessment Examination committee. In addition she serves as a PIRP Liaison for neuromuscular ultrasound task force by AANEM.

Ongoing Research Studies (IRB approved): 

  1. The Use of Eye-tracking Technology to Assess Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): An Evidence Based Model and Alternative to Reduce the Subjective Bias and Lack of Clarity in Traditional Evaluation and Treatment Methods.
  2. IRB# 15-003: Quantitative Assessment of Using Motion-Based Videogame to Improve Rehabilitation Outcomes in Patients with Brain Injuries.
  3. Correlation between Persistent Post Concussive Syndrome after blast induced mild traumatic brain injury and MRI findings. Retrospective chart review.
  4. Cognitive/Motor Therapy Application Using Console-Based Videogame Platform.
  5. Home-based motion gaming to improve cognitive and physical function and community integration in people with mild/moderate TBI.
  6. Curated Datasets for Machine Learning Applications In Medical Imaging (Collaborating with Mayo clinic).

Publications, Research and Development:

Podcast: From OB/GYN in India to Physiatry in the United States. Medical School Headquarters: Specialty Stories, 9/2021.

Poster presentation: A Multidisciplinary Approach to Evaluation, Diagnosis, and Rehabilitation Management of a patient with Distal Ulnar Neuropathy in Guyon’s Canal after Carpal Tunnel Decompression: A Case Report, AAP conference 2/2019, Puerto Rico.

"Improvement in Self-Reported Cognitive Function Following a 1-month Brain-Training Intervention in Adults with Persistent mTBI/Concussion" for the 2020 Combined Sections Meeting (CSM), Abstract 2019.

Abstract: Achieving Better Rehabilitation Outcomes for Veterans with Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Using Motion-Based Gaming" has been selected for poster presentation at the 2017 Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury Summit - Advances in the State of the Science and Best Practices.

Abstract: Effects of Commercial Exergames on Motivation in Brian Injury Therapy (#117) has been accepted for inclusion in the CHI PLAY 2017 Spotlight Track. 

Eucabeth Mose, Vasanth Subramanian, Mark Conneely, William Cotter, Swaminathan, B Poster Presentation:  Persistent post concussive syndrome after blast induced mild traumatic brain injury and MRI findings. Retrospective chart review. RFUMS Research Day 10/19/2016.

Lin, A; Subramanian, V; Swaminathan, B; Cotter, W; Putnam, C; Gunderson,K; Anima,A; Popovic,K; Morris,A; Yalla, S.V. Computer Motion Gaming Provides Additional Benefits in Rehabilitation of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury. American Congress of Rehabilitation Conference Nov 2016. National Conference, Poster.

Swaminathan, B; Cotter, W, Subramanian, V; Yalla., SV;  Lin, F; Putnam, C; Gunderson, K; Anima, A; Popovich, K.  “Improving Outcomes and the Joy of Rehabilitation for Veterans with Traumatic Brain Injury Using Computer Motion Games” Featured studies on Edward Hines Jr VA Hospital & James A Lovell FHCC Research day, Tuesday May 17, 2016. Poster.

“Integrative Restoration (iREST) Practices for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Treatment” RFU Psychiatry Research Day on 4/28/2016. Poster.

Kandah, C., Ciccone, D., Bair, J., Swaminathan, B., & Scimeca, L Neuropsychological Performance of Military Personnel with Blast and Non-Blast Related mTBI and PTSD April 2015 · The Clinical Neuropsychologist; 29(3):335-335. Peer Reviewed Abstract.

Subramanian, V; Yalla, S.V; Lin, Fang, Swaminathan B, Cotter W. "Quantitative Outcome Assessment of Motion Based Gaming for Brain Injury Rehabilitation", reference 0621 has been accepted for presentation at the Eleventh World Congress on Brain Injury, to be held March 3-6, 2016, the Hague, the Netherlands. Peer reviewed abstract.

Nadeem R, Ghadai A, Iftikhar S, Lee K, Swaminathan B, Hussain T, Khamis ME, Yousaf M,  Turkman B, Qureshi A, Mansoor M (2016) Prevalence of clinically probable obstructive sleep apnea in American veterans with chronic musculoskeletal pain. Journal of Health and Aging 5:3.

Keynote speaker on Hines VAH & Lovell FHCC Research Day, Hines, IL, May 2015. Presented “Using Motion-based Gaming to Improve Rehabilitation Outcomes in Veterans with traumatic Brain Injuries.”

“Using Motion-based Gaming to Improve Rehabilitation Outcomes in Veterans with Traumatic Brain Injuries” – Poster presentation for the “New Perspectives in TBI Rehabilitation” VA Poly trauma conference in Washington DC, May 2015.

Miller-Fisher Syndrome with Acute Onset in a Military Recruit: A Case Report. Accepted for poster presentation at AAP annual meeting, San Antonio, TX, 2015.

The Use of Eye-tracking Technology to Assess TBI and PTSD.  Presented at FHCC Annual Research Day, July 2014.  

Thyrotoxic Periodic Paralysis Presenting as Episodic Leg Weakness: A Case Report. Presented at AANEM 60th Annual Meeting, San Antonio, TX, 2013. Abstract, Muscle and Nerve, October 2013.

Prevalence of Clinically Probable Obstructive Sleep Apnea in US veterans with Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain.  Presented at American Thoracic Society Meeting, 2012.

Served as a peer reviewer for the following manuscript: A Case of Median Nerve Injury after Carpal Tunnel Injection Serially Followed by Ultra sonographic, Sonoelastographic, and Electrodiagnostic Studies. If accepted this paper will be published in American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

Monoclonal Gammopathy of Unknown Significance Presenting as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.  Presented at AAEM annual meeting in Washington, DC, 2006.

Bilateral Retroperitoneal Hematoma Presenting as Unilateral Femoral Neuropathy. Accepted for presentation at joint meeting of AAEM and IFCN in San Francisco, CA, 2003.

A New Electro-diagnostic Technique for Diagnosing Polyneuropathy.  American Congress of Rehabilitation Annual Meeting, Tucson, AZ, 2001.

Local Lymph Node Metastasis from a Sebaceous Carcinoma of the Groin.  Case report presented at Oncology Research Society.  Trenton, NJ, 1999.

Mode of Potentiating of Bradykinin by ACE inhibitors. Presented at Rush University Research Forum, Chicago, IL, 1999.

Analysis of Receptor Status in Postmenopausal Women.  ASCO Abstract, Journal of American Society of Clinical Oncology, 1997.

Incidence of Breast Cancer at Cook County Hospital in Chicago.  ASCO Abstract, Journal of American Society of Clinical Oncology, 1997.