OrthoIllinois Surgeon Developed Early Interest in Neurosurgery
OrthoIllinois’ Dr. Harjot Thind was 17 years old when she observed her first neurosurgery – an experience that further cemented her desire to help people by becoming a doctor.
“As a kid, I wanted to figure out why people think what they think and why they do what they do,” she recalled. “Seeing the actual science behind that has always been very interesting to me.”
Dr. Thind grew up in Pennsylvania and put herself on a path to becoming a doctor early on. Her mom had a been in a doctor in India and was a source of inspiration for her from a young age.
“I always had a drive to help people,” Dr. Thind said. “Whatever I did, I wanted to be of service, to be in a people-oriented job. In medicine and surgery, you get that combination of science and art.”
As a teen, she became more and more interested in learning about the brain and neuroscience, so she reached out a nearby hospital that allowed her to observe a surgery involving removal of a brain tumor.
Neurosurgery was a way to work with her hands and change people’s lives through surgery, so Dr. Thind dove headfirst into training. She completed a bachelor’s degree in behavioral neuroscience at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania and received her medical degree from Tulane University School of Medicine, along with her master’s degree in public health with a concentration in global health from Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine.
Dr. Thind completed her first three years of residency training in neurological surgery at the State University of New York at Buffalo and additional residency training at the University of California Davis, where she also completed subspecialty training with a neurological surgery spine fellowship focused on minimally invasive and robot-assisted spine surgeries.
In July 2021, she joined the OrthoIllinois physician team, where her practice involves general cranial and spinal neurosurgery and she has a special interest in minimally invasive and navigated spine surgery. She sees patients at the OrthoIllinois Riverside Clinic in Rockford.
“Everyone has been so welcoming,” she said of joining the practice. “There’s a very collegial environment and a lot of camaraderie here.”
She’s passionate about helping patients understand their diagnoses and conditions affecting the spine, neck, and head, as well as the range of treatment options available to them – from nonsurgical to surgical interventions.
Away from work, she lives in Rockford with her two dogs – a pug named Tiger and a German shepherd named Mango – and enjoys hiking, yoga, and traveling.