Describe where you are from. Tell us about a special Midwest/Chicago growing up catalyst memory.
I was born in Karachi, Pakistan to parents who put high value on education and service to others. Growing up, early on I decided I wanted to become a physician as I was inspired by many in my family and neighborhood. Once I became a physician, I wanted to get further training which brought me to the wonderful city of Chicago. I found Chicago to be a warm and welcoming city with diversity unlike any other. I got my post graduate residency in the most challenged neighborhoods in Chicago, which reinforced to me the value of serving those in need.
Tell us a bit about the industry you are in and the work you focus on.
I am a family physician; a healthcare profession that aims to bring equity and access to healthcare services. The work I focus on is bringing challenged communities into the fold of care who have been neglected the longest.
Share with us a special moment in your work career that you are most proud of or shows the impact you have.
I started my career in the middle of the largest public housing in Chicago called Robert Taylor homes, where approximately a hundred thousand residents were living in substandard conditions. I feel proud to develop medical homes and continuum of care for better health outcomes in a population that consisted of 55% women and children. It transformed lives and saved lives of many. It is noteworthy that during the COVID-19 pandemic, these medical homes and expansion of their services provided vaccinations and preventative services to hundreds of thousands in these neighborhoods which resulted in a reduced spread of the pandemic.
What advice do you give to fellow Asian Americans starting their careers in your industry?
As a family physician and president of Chicago Medical Society, I would encourage young Asian Americans pursue a healthcare career if they have the drive to help those in need. It will give them an opportunity to see how viable these careers are if they choose to make a great living and simultaneously serve humanity.
What does being a member of the AAPI community mean to you (in your industry)?
Being a member of the AAPI community means the world to me as this community not only because they serve those who need healthcare services the most but also the many healthcare leaders of the AAPI community that inspire us through their outstanding dedication and extraordinary commitment.
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