I came to the US a week ago to do a show for a group of Pakistani doctors, both men and women.

I was first received by the women who took me out to lunch. They were very welcoming and like a lot of women, dying to tell me their life stories and about all the men that annoy them. One woman said, “I am a doctor, but I’m not in control of all the decisions in my life. I can do what I want most of the time, but I’m not totally free. If I’m honest, my husband does control me ultimately.”

Another woman tells me, there are three types of doctors wives. There are the trophy wives, the uneducated wives, and the doctors married to doctors. The trophy and uneducated wives feel like they’ve hit the jackpot. They are ‘married to a doctor’ – wow! But, the reality is that underneath it, the husband then controls the woman with money and sex. Then the woman has no rights and is unhappy.

They kept using the word emancipated a lot. Also describing me as an emancipated woman, which made me feel uncomfortable because the last time I heard that word was when Mariah Carey sung it in one of her songs and started taking all her clothes off.

Our lunch conversation ended with one of these female doctors saying, “It’s hard being a woman in the US.”

The next night there was a charity auction, to raise money for a kidney unit in Pakistan. But being rich Pakistanis, no one was bidding. These are people that will drench their trophy wives in gold, parade them round and boast vulgarly about how much they earn but then not put their hand up to start some charity going.

It was embarrassing to watch but when no one was bidding people turned to whoever was sitting next to them and said, “Typical Pakistanis! سستااورتنگ “

They had a range of keynote speakers who made long speeches about the importance of charity and the need to help the poor in Pakistan.

One woman who was the wife of a doctor started the auction, which consisted of diamond earrings and glittery handbags. She started her speech saying, “It’s really important being the wife of a doctor, people think we’re just wives but we have our importance too, it’s difficult but we play our role and we have responsibilities too.” There were murmurs of agreement.

I didn’t realise that being a wife was actually a profession.

I didn’t realise that being married to a man who is professionally more successful than you was an achievement.

If you are a woman who sees being married to a doctor as a badge of honour, don’t complain then, when you lose your freedom and are controlled by his power and money. You are simply there, as the famous saying goes, “To be a cook in the kitchen and a h***e in the bedroom”.

What I noticed most about this group of people was that although they had money, and their bank balances had grown, their minds had not expanded at the same rate. There wasn’t much intelligence beyond what they had learnt in physiology books, their lives hadn’t been manifested in much creativity and spontaneity.

This is why they remain judgmental and narrow minded; and very unattractive. Hugh Hefner – who looks like he’s just been dug up, to me, is more attractive than one of these Pakistani doctors.

To people brought up in the West like me, we are really not that impressed if some arrogant Pakistani man tries to chat me up with the line, “I’m a doctor …” So what?

I suffer from high self-esteem. So the fact that you think I’m going to be impressed because you are a doctor, really has no effect on me whatsoever.

Before I went on stage that night I said to the group of women, “Can you tell me what the audience is like?”

They said, “The men are all the same. Bald, big bellies, and all on Viagra.”

I might be in with a chance.

Shazia Mirza is an award winning stand-up comedian and writer. She has performed all over the world. A columnist for The Guardian UK, she was named Columnist of the Year at the prestigious PPA Awards. Find out more from her website. Follow her on Twitter @shaziamirza1.

The views expressed by this blogger and in the following reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.

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Comments (142)

Saleem Shah
July 13, 2013 5:52 pm

Pakistan is a status-obsessed society with everyone constantly trying to prove that they are "better than you". Engineers and doctors are considered of the highest social status so you find a few of them who are arrogant like this. Its not good but its small compared to some other massive problems in Pakistani society like mullahism.

July 13, 2013 6:01 pm

Agreed! The way you obtain charity from these folks is by letting them show their wealth off. If you head to any APNNA event or a local mosque... watch how quick they are to one up their fellow compatriots. At one APNNA even that I attended with my family, the host called out a table of ladies that had visited India for jewelry shopping. The table giggled when acknowledged and the money started to flow. They weren't very good looking women and they had terrible taste in clothes and jewelry . They would fall in the uneducated (and tasteless) category.

Jibreel Sohail
July 13, 2013 6:01 pm


Good one XD

July 13, 2013 6:02 pm

Unfortunately, this is exactly how Pakistani men behave. No shame in telling a complete stranger how much money they make and how qualified they are. It looks so cheap but Pakistani men have no idea how to chat up a girl. They never learn the art of conversation and to be fair to them, where and how would they learn as to how to chat one up. By the way, this is not only true when they are talking to women. When they meet a stranger (man), their first priority is to get it across to the stranger the same things they try with women. You see my point?. I have never met more self obsessed men with their heads so far up their "you know what". !!. Go to any non-Pakistani chat rooms and you would find that women just disappear as soon as you tell them where you are originally from :) and I don't blame them either.

July 13, 2013 6:28 pm

The high esteem didn't let you check your hypocrisy when you trash the people who you take money from for your show. The point of the article? Men bashing? Dr. Bashing? Feminism? Please, this has been addressed elsewhere in far better ways than you can certainly write, miss funny.

July 13, 2013 6:28 pm

If you have written this just for the sake of it then you don't have too much to worry about. But if these are your actual views then you must visit your local psychiatrist ASAP. You are not suffering from high self-esteem, you are judgemental.

Faiza Mir
July 13, 2013 6:42 pm

I don't think there is any woman, who has encountered a "Pakistani Doctor", who wouldn't relate to this. Good one, Shazia!

July 13, 2013 6:43 pm

I see either an envy, contempt, or inferiority complex in this piece. Please tell me which one it is???

Also, you sounded like a medical school reject.

July 13, 2013 7:27 pm

The author should get down from whatever high horse she is on. She went from complaining about pakistani doctors being "judgmental and narrow-minded" to bashing them all as "bald, big bellies and all on Viagra." Hypocrisy much? The only purpose this piece fulfilled was satiating the author's misandry.

July 13, 2013 7:29 pm

I think you should see a psychiatrist, again a Dr !

July 13, 2013 7:45 pm

I enjoyed this article and gosh I am a doctor. I think the problem is not really with doctors but is a by product of the values we live by as a society. Growing up in Pakistan I always saw how people were judged by the amount of money they had or the car they drove. There is a lot of emphasis on money and power back home as that really defines whether you have made it in life. Taking a plane ride changes the physical location you are in but does not change your mind set. Most Pakistanis still retain those same values here. Most people of Pakistani origin, doctor or otherwise don't let a minute go by without letting you know in some sort of way how successful they are or judging you by the car you drive or the house you live in. Doctors are just more in the spotlight as they tend to be earning more than other professions. It is a first generation problem which hopefully will fade away as their offspring are brought up in a normal functioning society where money or power doesn't necessarily equate to basic survival or your rights being trampled on.

July 13, 2013 7:52 pm

In my experience it's all doctors whose wives are treated this way. Just because you were raised in the West, doesn't mean that you can imply a white man's actions elegant and a brown man's cheap when they both do the same thing.

Abdus Salam Khan
July 13, 2013 7:53 pm

Let me tell Shazia that being a housewife is the most honorable profession in the world. There is an adage here in U.S.A:" The work of a housewife is never done". Being wife of a doctor is twice as hard because the husband holds a very challenging and time-consuming job, leaving her to face most of the domestic challenges by herself.

I find this piece by Shazia to be unduly condescending. The doctors in America, Pakistani or not, enjoy the highest ranking in the matter of social prestige and we should be proud of these doctors, who are not only contributing so much to the American society but also doing so much for Pakistan.

July 13, 2013 8:07 pm

Shazia is right on the money. The Pakistani doctors are a moneyed class, through both legitimate and questionable means. We know of doctors of dabbling in areas outside of their specialty solely in order to generate more revenues . Getting entrance to a Medical School in the US is highly competitive; therefore the profession has the same level of prestige as the Civil Service in the sub-continent; however the irony is that the super-rich Pakistani doctors didn't go through such a rigorous medical education and mostly are graduates of sub-standard Medical Schools in Pakistan or in the Caribbean., thus woefully ignorant in basic sciences like Biochemistry, Physiology and Pharmacology. I make it a point never to see a Pakistani doctor because of this great deficit in their training.

July 13, 2013 8:21 pm

Lack of culture I suppose.

July 13, 2013 8:24 pm

This article is more suited to be published in The Express Tribune. I think Dawn has much higher standards than this.

July 13, 2013 8:27 pm

@Abdus Salam Khan: I think you're missing her point. Plenty of doctors in my family in the US. I attend loads of events attended by Pakistani American Doctors and her generalization is spot on.

Ask the mom that wants her daughter to ONLY marry a doctor. The doctors that attend events in Rolls Royce's and can't donate a few 100 bucks. I think it's all new money - money unfortunately can't buy class. Lots of good, well meaning doctors but the significant portion of the current Pakistan diaspora that are doctors in the US are classless.

Shazia shaza
July 13, 2013 8:38 pm

Thank you for this awesome piece. Can relate to each and every word.

July 13, 2013 8:43 pm

I agree with Shazia about the unhappy Doctor's wives. I am surprised not all of them end up at Al-Huda, last refuge of unhappy wives. I agree with the doctors arrogance. But then again, I find that doctors of all nationalities to to be reserved or arrogant. Some do it with finesse. I think with a tough profession where you see death very closely on a daily basis, this would be expected.

July 13, 2013 8:51 pm

Typical rant of a British Born Confused Desi (BBCD)

Saleem Shah
July 13, 2013 9:19 pm

@Abdus Salam Khan: Pakistani housewives are on their own even if their husband in unemployed.

Cheddar Man
July 13, 2013 9:27 pm

@MasoodHaider1@gmail.com: And yet they pass the boards. There must be something wrong with the american board system right? Well the next time you have to visit a doctor, just don't. Who knows if they slept through their pathology classes.

Karachi Wala
July 13, 2013 9:33 pm

@Saleem Shah: "Its not good but its small compared to some other massive problems in Pakistani society like mullahism"

And what about those Doctors who have become a born again Mullah?

July 13, 2013 9:34 pm

Ms.Mirza ? Your article very critical of wives and I am doctor. But below is your own Intro. Please take a closer look.

"Shazia Mirza is an award winning stand-up comedian and writer. She has performed all over the world. A columnist for The Guardian UK, she was named Columnist of the Year at the prestigious PPA Awards."

"You have performed all over the world.." Is that not full of arrogance. really all over the world.? And you wrote "To people brought up in the West like me..." hmm are you special or more superior than others because you were brought up in the west?“

Pot calling the kettle black.!

Saima Bajwa
July 13, 2013 9:34 pm

Haha this article has comical value I'm surprise dawn published it Her pathetic lies are full of jealousy she should look in the mirror before talking about us.

July 13, 2013 10:01 pm


July 13, 2013 10:02 pm


If you were trying to be funny in this article, you failed. If you wanted to highlight some feminism related points, sorry I don't see it.

I simply don't understand the point of this article. Pakistanis were ranked as the second most giving community in the US (Google it). So you met a bunch of Pakistani-Americans (who financed your show BTW). Some guy tried to talk to you, you shot him down. And then you proceed to write an article about it?

Respecting women is in our culture. If some women choose to work or manage the household, its up to them. Whats wrong with it? Are you telling us that you have never seen white/black/indian trophy wives or house wives? And that its just specifically Pakistani-American doctors who have this 'disease'?

July 13, 2013 10:07 pm


You are generalizing. How many Pakistani doctors have you met who 'use questionable means'?

Doctors from Pakistan, or anywhere else from the world need to clear the SAME very tough exams to obtain a license to practice medicine in the US. There are more than 15,000 doctors of Pakistani origin working in the US. You probably had one bad experience and you are just too ignorant to rant about a whole community online.

July 13, 2013 10:14 pm

@Saleem Shah: and military people think others are sub-humans. This is sad that the nation that pays them via taxes has to be sub-human.

July 13, 2013 10:23 pm

@MasoodHaider1@gmail.com: Sorry to disagree, They have to pass the same exams like US students do so I am sure they have to know their basic sciences pretty well to pass USMLE. But I avoid Pakistani /Indian doctors because of their attitudes,arrogance espcially with desi patients and bad bedside manners.

July 13, 2013 10:30 pm

@Abdus Salam Khan: The doctors I know in US have maids to do the cleaning,have catering services when throwing a party,going to vacations all the time and have a very busy social and shopping life. I hate to hear doctors wives complain because here everyone works so hard but not everyone has such luxuries and lifestyle like these doctors.

July 13, 2013 10:55 pm

What? What this person is on about? I have never seen so much disrespect for women packed in so few words!

July 13, 2013 11:35 pm

By the way Shazia, you are not a prized either, Pakistan has very awesome and good looking women, and you honey.............

July 13, 2013 11:48 pm

@Cheddar Man: I see nothing but respect and admiration for Pakistani doctors. Most of the Americans I know, speak highly of the skills, knowledge, and work ethics of our kind. Unfortunately, it is us who love to belittle our very own.

July 14, 2013 12:00 am

“I’m a doctor …” So what? Shazia you are just great

javed qamer
July 14, 2013 12:07 am

Doctors who go to medical schools in the USA are different then the doctors who go to Pakistani medical schools. Grades are not the only criteria to go to medical schools in America you have to do volunteer work like volunteering in a fire station or emergency room of a hospital. This social work teaches you to be humble and respect other human beings. Unfortunately that's not the case in Pakistan where good grades are the only criteria to go to medical school. Hopefully with the second generation of Pakistanis, Doctors may adopt American ways and be humble.

July 14, 2013 12:41 am

@MasoodHaider1@gmail.com: Very well sir, while the whole world is drooling over Pakistani doctors, be It Middle East, Australia or Canada owing to their massive expertise in their concerned field, you, sir, are saying that their knowledge is deficit in basic sciences. First of all as the knowledge is so vast, with the passage of time you get more focused on a specific field, a cardiology need not know anything about stomach pathology, or pharmacology thats why we have specific doctors, basic science teachers, pharmacist who excel in the field of Pharmacology.Its a bit unfair to judge a cardiologist on his knowledge about anatomy of a limb and that being said, i assure you even then the basic sciences of Pakistani graduates are much stronger due to the immense difficult course of studies in Pakistan.

July 14, 2013 1:11 am

I tend to agree with most of the points made in the article.Having said that I must say that Ms Mirza is being judgmental and trying to paint everybody with a broad stroke.Not all Pakistani physicians and their wives are like what Ms Mirza wants everybody to think.You can find nouveau riche in any profession and sometimes their behavior is pretty embarrassing.There are brilliant Pakistani physicians all across the U.S and also are involved in significant charity work back in Pakistan.As for Ms Mirza I am sure she was well compensated for her performance and why would any physician want to impress her!

July 14, 2013 1:15 am

It is not just the Pakistani doctors, it is rampant everywhere in Pakistani upper classes. The professionals are actually slightly mellowed-down in their display, maybe you should try visiting the less educated elite class of Pakistan somewhere and compare (business men, political affluents). Plus, this is the story of rich housewives in the whole world.There is a point in this article but it is too narrowly focused on a particular group.

July 14, 2013 1:25 am

You were BROUGHT UP IN WEST SO WHAT :) i am not a doctor but an engineer in US but this piece i would say is full of contempt very typical of 2nd generation of immigrants. I have seen pakistani doctors who spend lot of time in pakistan for charity work and give charity. Well mannered and well behaved polished and educated Atchisonions, Ravians, Anthonians, from diffenent convents and from many other prestigious polished institutions of Pakistan. I think profession does not matter, its just your family back ground, values you are brought up with and schooling. The author herself looks like deseased with some complex of being brought up in west. As this an achievement in itself. I have seen this kind of second generation immigrants a lot who hate everything coming from their homeland and think that just their command on local language, dialects, slangs and local trends or fashion makes them superior to all the succesfull immigrants who made it big with their hardwork focus and without their expertise in local customs. These societies are not stupid they only reward if you are worthy of it. I have met lot of these 2nd generation people whose is only pride is being brought up in west. Yes as in any other profession you will see some doctors who are self centered as well but that does not call for this type of prejudice. I person from west should know better than that.

July 14, 2013 1:35 am

Let me get this straight. Your article starts with the sentence suggesting that you went to US to do a show for Pakistani doctors. Your profile given at the end of the article suggests you are a stand up comedian so I am assuming your stand up comedy show was paid by the same doctors.That would make those docs patrons of your show.You came back and wrote an article humiliating them only before planet earth. Wow, intellectual integrity or fallacy of the article aside this reflects poor business acumen on your end. Beware US based Paki engineers!

July 14, 2013 1:42 am

I see these doctors and this mindset all the time. If given a choice, these people would like to have 'Doctor' written on their foreheads.

July 14, 2013 1:53 am

Sounds like someone is full of envy of other successful people. I can't believe Dawn would publish such trite garbage views of this failure of a woman. She deems it worthwhile to bring down those people who are actually helping humanity and giving pakistan a good image abroad. I for one will never attend an APPNA event if this hideous woman is one of the "attractions" there. She can take her trite nonsense back to pakistan and we will see how accepted she is over there.

July 14, 2013 2:21 am

True depiction.....have seen this many times in US Desi social gatherings....

July 14, 2013 2:52 am

@amjad: Dude, she really hit your nerves, didn't she? She was mearly describing her observations. Most of the times troth hurts and that's what happened with you. Gotta be brave to take criticism.

Farooq Mughal
July 14, 2013 2:54 am

If Shazia is trying to be funny, that's OK, at least she tried. And, if she's trying to make fun of Pakistani docs in USA, even that's OK, some people are good in writing negative stuff. I have seen recently some people even trying to create doubt about that gifted and brave girl Malala. I'm an IT professional, not a doctor, live in Texas and have been close to many Pakistani doctors. I have been to many APPNA events , was in Orlando last week also. I think doctors are Pakistan;s best "export", one we should be proud of. My only "problem:, sort of with them is that they worried and concerned too much about Pakistan, and not USA, their adopted country. They send money to Pakistan, involved in many many charitable projects in Pakistan, donate money generously for Pakistan. Very involved in local Mosque and community work. And, above all, they carry a very good professional reputation. Particularly graduates of the established medical colleges of Pakistan, like King Edward, Dow, Agha Khan, Rawalpindi and 5-6 others are great doctors. Mother of one my co-worker was operated recently by a neurosurgeon from Pakistan and did a great job. Shazia should have look around and have a broader picture of the gathering.

July 14, 2013 3:15 am

Not impressed, to say the least. Good and bad Pakistanis are everywhere but the writer sold herself really short here by making a blanket statement. You want to talk superiority complex? Just revisit your own writing and your personal introduction at the end. I'm a banker and have known hundreds of Pakistani physicians of Florida, Arizona and New York for over 20 years. What a fine bunch of well-mannered and charitable individuals....I say this for an overwhelming majority. Many of them are unsung heroes, running silent projects in remote areas of Pakistan. Several of them sending their replaced medical equipment to Pakistan as donations. Some of them donate their time by running free weekend clinics in their area for anyone (not just Pakistanis) who needs diagnosis as well as medicines. Yes, they splurge on their wives and lifestyles and yes they are more than justified.

James Zatonski
July 14, 2013 3:17 am

I also had the pleasure of attending a Pakistani doctors conference in the USA few years ago. I am not a doctor and I do not live in the USA. I feel all the doctors in the USA from our part of the world, both male and female need psychiatric help. I was amazed when my host a female doctor kept telling me what should I do, what should I buy and specially what I should buy for my wife (who happens to be her sister) - when I told her that I can not spend so much as I am the only earning member in my family, unlike her where there are 2 earning members. The reply was that you are kanjoos (miser) and the funny thing was that later on all her others friends told me the same thing - the news had spread like wild fire - James does not spend. The arrogance and the attitude that we know what is best for all was very evident.

July 14, 2013 3:44 am

Whether a Doctor is qualified in US or outside US they still have to pass the Boards to become specialists in US. This is in human nature to be jealous of others successes and lifestyle is one such aspect. As long as arranged marriages persist in any culture allegations of trophy wives would be made. Matriarchy and associated concepts cannot be ignored in certain contexts. In conclusions though the comments made by a stand up comedian are interesting but perhaps should be read as she might be on stage performing The Act for Money. Travelling to US to do shows does cost money after all

July 14, 2013 4:13 am

This based on an encounter with a few, sounds very narrow minded, judgemental and ill informed- "Fox News type" I guess, we have our own experiences to go by, my experience has been the opposite, like any society, some very competent, civilized and decent, and some not so much. Overall the trend these days is to bash everything Pakistani.

July 14, 2013 4:35 am

This is the most derogatory and hypocritical piece of writing I have ever come across. Why just Doctors? In an increasingly cliquish society every other person with a little bit of money, flaunts it at every given chance. why singling out the Dr? Plus,why are you so pissed about the wives of drs in particular. Ever had the fortune of meeting ANY woman with a strong husband? All are the same... What i fail to understand is, what will it take people to realize t hat MARRIAGE and professional qualifications are two entirely different and exclusive things. When will these so called "Liberals" who have been BROUGHT UP IN THE WEST ( no hypocrisy here) start respecting women who, by choice stay at home?

Call me old school, Education i say is a must! and everyone must continue to get it all their life.. But when it comes to working or staying at home, I believe it's a matter of great pride for the girl, if, her husband provides for her in a respectable manner and even if she works, her expenses are borne by him.! .

Greek Tragedy
July 14, 2013 4:44 am

A strong slap in the face of the now secular organization called APPNA (Association of Pakistani Physicians of North American descent). It has surely drifted from the goals of it founders. Like all secular organizations, it is now all about material goods. This woman writer, whoever she is, has done the appropriate thing for a person of secularist upbringing, bit the hand that fed her. Ouch! She surely knows how to disgrace her hosts and speak about their shortcomings. What a wonderful trait! One should remember to write like her after one has come back from an invited event. She is right though, many in the crowd must have been like her, grasping the crass materialism of the West. They said they were doctors and she replied 'I don't care, I was brought up in the West. " Should have instead said 'We (royal plural) are British' (the Stockholm Syndrome in action, the psychopathology described by Fanon). The US leads the West in virtually all civilizational aspects, especially those secured by material means, hence the desire of everybody to be wannabees like the US. Think of the Indians, Chinese, Secular Pakistanis, rich Iranians, Saudis. One thing is in common, all US wannabees. In the US every material girl, when she becomes a mother ,wants her son to become a doctor (especially Jewish mothers, the mothers of al mother superiors of materialism) The South Asian Pakistani men and women she met did not come up to her standards of beauty or culture. She categorized real people in objectified classes, none was 'free' (except her) What a pity! Freedom? which kind of freedom, freedom for the nafs as in the West or freedom from the nafs as taught by the Prophet (PBUH). People do grow old and become fat and ugly, no one is forever young. Was she looking for young white flesh or were her fantasies developed by watching Bollywood movies promoting gang rape?

July 14, 2013 5:14 am

I agree Pakistani men in general would behave the same if they had money,the bragging,the false image ,the parties are becoming like US ,here in Australia as well.the locals are amazed how they spend so much money on parties,it's because they live in crappy suburbs and send their kids to cheap schools but must throw huge parties ,

Ali Ayub
July 14, 2013 5:16 am

what the heck did i just read...seriously

July 14, 2013 5:21 am

The only way to stop this mediocre woman from writing is to stop commenting on her "articles". I am unable to understand why Dawn gives her the opportunity to serve us this crap every second month. Your previous photo of winking into the lens represents your mentality a lot better.

July 14, 2013 6:52 am

I don't see the point of the article. Being a house wife is a profession. Being a house wife of a doctor is different than that of a civil servant. There is absolutely nothing wrong in being proud of your husband or wife. Though, there is everything wrong about being judgemental about an entire country.

Satyameva Jayate
July 14, 2013 6:52 am

So true. Thank god, god made ABCDs.

July 14, 2013 6:53 am

"Before I went on stage that night I said to the group of women, “Can you tell me what the audience is like?”

They said, “The men are all the same. Bald, big bellies, and all on Viagra.”

I might be in with a chance." loved your article

Agha Ata
July 14, 2013 7:13 am

There is no such thing as a high- self- esteem. One who tries to pretend having high- self- esteem is actually suffering from low- self-esteem- syndrome.

Jasjot Deol
July 14, 2013 7:35 am

to start with i dont know about the married women cos am not married yet but generalising all doctors in the manner you did makes you nothing short of an arrogant snob.While your ass was high up in the air it was the doctors who saved your mother's,father's life.All the bad vices come from the society you grow up in.Being a writer why dont you make it a aim in your life to make an impact in the society rather than fussing up here.Becoming a doctor isnt easy and to the ignorant masses here clearing boards is not easy,if it were you would have done it too and i would be glad to know how much charity you do yourselves before pointing fingers at others you "To people brought up in the West like me"

July 14, 2013 8:26 am

Great article. Loved reading it!

MOhammad Ali Khan
July 14, 2013 8:28 am

Angoor khatey hain.This is the impression from this article.

syed ahmed
July 14, 2013 9:03 am

This is something that is embedded in our culture, it's not just doctor's problem its a Pakistani problem. It doesn't matter if the woman is married to a MD, Engineer, Lawywer or some IT dude making 200k a year... they will show off they will drive the nicest luxury cars and they will rub it off in your face if you don't have it... even though most of the time it's either leased or financed. Our culture has some serious defects, hence why we're in such a deep deep hole and we didn't just get there we dug this hole ourselves, our parents, our culture made this gigantic hole and now we're stuck feeling it's wrath. But ofcourse to ex-pats this hole no longer matters so they don't care and carry on with them the same philosophy that sunk Pakistan.

talat hamdany
July 14, 2013 9:14 am

Doctors are hard to come by Shazia. Keep trying.

naseer khan
July 14, 2013 9:34 am

This piece of writing has biased opinion and view ,This column is not worth dawn.

July 14, 2013 9:38 am

Most physicians and surgeons in the USA are conscious of their medical degree, irrespective of their ethnicity. I am not sure if Pakistani MDs are any worse in this respect. I am more familiar with the Indian expatriate community in the US, and my impression is that physicians of Indian origin are not imbalanced with respect to gender. That is, they tend to be uniformly filled with hubris or humility without respect to gender.

On the flip side, the US is one of the kindest societies in the world with respect to single women or working women. American society has its flaws but women in the US have far greater opportunities than women in most other places (including Europe). If a woman finds herself in a situation where she is a doormat, she can walk out and society will support her. If the relationship cannot be corrected, then this is the right step to take whether you are a Pakistani or a white American.

High self-esteem among women is a good thing, but I think we have gone beyond that. Women have more power today than anytime in the past. More than self esteem, I would use that power. I am a man, and I have no problem whatsoever with women displaying power to bring about equality.

July 14, 2013 10:39 am

Offensive article with a lot of misperceptions.

July 14, 2013 10:44 am

@MasoodHaider1@gmail.com: Regardless of where the physicians have been trained, They still have to take the standardized US med licensing exam. Most Pakistani Doctors are rich because they are successful at what they do, and most of them are successful because they have dedicated a large chunk of their lives excelling in their respective fields. It is entirely your loss if you choose to disregard them for treatment based on your assumption that their basic science training is not sufficient, yet they are skilled/intelligent/dedicated enough to do fellowships/fellowships/board certifications. Typical self loathing Paki approach ....

July 14, 2013 11:13 am

I don't want to write a hate comment here but I do want to comment on how superficial and naive the author has been in putting all the APPNA doctors in the same category ... I do not argue against the fact that APPNA meetings are social gatherings but when u criticise the organization you should atleast try to make an effort to see if they have done positive projects for the country ... If u haven't tried that u have no right to criticise ... There will be always some ppl in every gathering that may be superficial and boast abt their earthly possessions but remember this is not limited to the doctor community ... Let me remind the author that atleast in the US among these same group of ELitist the biggest donors for local community projects are present .... And none of them are trying to Impress YOU

July 14, 2013 12:19 pm

Well written. What she has written will fit most men from the Indian Subcontinent, if not from the entire east Asia.

July 14, 2013 12:24 pm

@Yasir: Are you a housewife ?

July 14, 2013 1:21 pm

@amjad: hahaha you said exactly what was on my mind.

July 14, 2013 2:17 pm

A crapy article written judging others for things writer doesn't understand completely. Its rascist for God sake! Are there no editors in DAWN!?

July 14, 2013 2:40 pm

@Aman: Good one dude.

July 14, 2013 3:24 pm

LOL you should write more often, nice one!!!

S. Khan
July 14, 2013 3:33 pm

I, being an American of Pakistani origin totally and whole heartedly agree with the blogger and I appreciate her for making accurate observations during a brief visit to USA. I thoroughly enjoyed the article. Good job Shazia!

uae dr
July 14, 2013 3:56 pm

authoress seems to be paid less for her performance and the response she got on her punches were not the same as she gets from audience other then doctors. Doctors make use of their profession just because they have been given importance in society, like on accidental introduction people give respect just due to profession then why he/she cant make use of it. wives of doctors who got settled in USA definately went through hard work and tough time to enter there is not easy task, let these women to be previliged. no one should have any issue of being others bald, with big belly or on viagra till you have any relation or intention to make any contact.

Nadeem Khan
July 14, 2013 4:06 pm

The Pakistani-American doctors I happen to know are quite the opposite actually. Most of them have more money than to know what to do with it but seldom have they bragged about it through words. I've seen them try to one-up their colleagues in charitable shows, if that's wrong and bragging, by their own admission, they are guilty as charged. As far as this article is concerned, it's written in poor taste, lacks credibility and attempts to negatively represent the Pakistani doctors community in the US. In my opinion, the writer pretty much bit the hand that fed her. Afterall, her show was bankrolled by the very doctors she disgraced. What does this writing say about her own self? Not much!!!

Nadeem Khan
July 14, 2013 4:17 pm

@S. Khan: You lost me at "I, being an American of Pakistani origin" and "I appreciate her for making accurate observations during a brief visit to USA".

How does one get the so-called 'accuracy' in a 'short' period of time? If anything, it's knowing just about enough to be dangerous!!!

The self-proclaimed ABCD or natuaralized US citizen introduction doesn't make one an authority or provide any more credibility than the rest of Pakistanis.

Maqsood Ahmed
July 14, 2013 4:26 pm

A semi-educated female desperately craving for getting attention of others by using wonderful tactics of typical writers like Suleman Rushdie. What a vulgar way of sizing up the others. She lacks potentials to learn and grow.

July 14, 2013 4:36 pm

What is that I just read.This article is so bias and racist. I cannot believe DAWN published it.

July 14, 2013 5:09 pm

Wow I don't know how much hate mail the blogger anticipated but it seems like a lot more, than atleast what I expected while reading the blog. I am sure this not true representation of all the Pakistani Dr.s in US but it is generally true. Let's face it Drs. are overpaid in US, and when you get more with little effort, it is not difficult to predict the natural outcome.

uae dr
July 14, 2013 5:45 pm

multiple factors justifies previliges that doctors get, enterace exam.... highest ranked students, years for study 5+1+3/4, resposible for treating humans and comforting their lives,

July 14, 2013 6:24 pm

Hi Shazia, I agree with you, it is all reality what you have explained in your article. I am working in US as engineer and come across many pakistani doctors mostly arrogant in same way you have described. Zee,

July 14, 2013 6:28 pm

@Khalid: where did this come from? :-o

July 14, 2013 6:59 pm

"You can bring a Pakistani man out of Pakistan in a civilized society, but, you can't bring out Pakistan out of a Pakistani man." These words are not mine. One Pakistani man told me this.

Shazia shaza
July 14, 2013 7:08 pm

@syed ahmed: Well said

Shazia shaza
July 14, 2013 7:09 pm

@Jasjot Deol: Does freedom of speech mean any thing to you?

July 14, 2013 7:09 pm

I am struggling to understand whether this piece is supposed to be humorous, or simply to make fun of Pakistani immigrants by a Pakistani born in West and calling herself a westerner, or simply make fun of Doctors ? Author claims that these "doctors" and their wives and basically whole of desi community is close minded. Now let me teach you a thing or 2 about west, Miss Mirza. Western man try to impress females by saying "Im a Footballer" - - Don't they ? and I say well so what mate ? we all are good at something. So its just the culture that Eastern societies value Education highly whereas Western societies give more weight to how popular and famous you are. So next time try to be a groupie and then write an article about pop stars.

July 14, 2013 7:12 pm

Looks like, some doctor broke the heart of little princess....

July 14, 2013 7:30 pm

@uae dr: " I'm a doctor", so what !

Shazia shaza
July 14, 2013 7:37 pm

@javed: Why are you threatening her?

July 14, 2013 7:41 pm

Relax people, it's just a comedian making jokes. Where's your sense of humor in Pakistan? And you wonder why the immigration officer cracked up when he heard about comedy shows in Pakistan, as Shazia reported in her previous column.

July 14, 2013 8:22 pm

Usually when someone is so judgmental towards such a large population after exposure to a few it is because they suffer from low self-esteem, not high. They feel the need to say how much better they are than "all those [insert large group you inferior to yet do not really know in depth]." You are no better when you judge the many based on a few.

July 14, 2013 9:02 pm

@Nadeem Khan: Charity shows is not the only place for this one-upmanship, it pretty much happens all the time especially when they encounter non-doctors.

July 14, 2013 10:14 pm

@Asam: Not necessary to pass Boards only complete appropriate residency or fellowship.

July 14, 2013 10:17 pm

Aren't there Pakistani female doctors married to non doctors? How do they behave?

July 14, 2013 10:25 pm

The article and opinions do not reflect the entire spectrum of Pakistani Physicians in U.S. Your interaction was limited to Physicians who were well established and had time to attend parties. For every successful Pak Physician there are countless others who are doing residencies in ghetto hospitals and the ones who are doing menial jobs while trying to get into residencies. Showing off is not a character peculiar to Pak physicians.

July 14, 2013 10:27 pm

@uae dr: To milk humanity...not to comfort them

July 14, 2013 10:36 pm

@MOhammad Ali Khan: You still live in a chauvinistic world. She's a feminist, from what I can make out.

Its pretty sad when women accept being a trophy wives. The Jane-Austen kind of wives were probably okay in the 19th century but gender roles have changed since. Men who can't adapt to that and depend on being a doctor/engineer/etc. for hooking up are a big turn off.

So Mr. Khan. Angoor khatte nahi hai. She is right through and through. Waise men crappy hai.

July 14, 2013 10:37 pm

Shazia, dont have any comments on what you wrote, I just wanted to point out that the word you used with so much discretion, does not start with an 'H'. It starts with the letter 'W'. Please do add it to your vocabulary.

July 14, 2013 10:56 pm

We all know women love money so what they do to get it? they marry a money making machine like doctor, lawyer, millionaire, billionaire ....

July 14, 2013 11:14 pm

@Azad: Showing off is not peculiar to Pak physicians but to Pakistani's general, we are as a nation are "Shohday" as we call in Punjabi.

July 14, 2013 11:16 pm

Along with my other comments, it should be noted that APPNA is a very well run organization that has given back to Pakistan tremendously. The organization is well run and gives back a lot to the US Pakistani community, does a lot charity and builds goodwill with other communities and really helps maintain our ties to the motherland.

Ali Lakhani
July 14, 2013 11:20 pm

I am sorry that you came across some doctors and their wives who gave you the wrong impression . There are those who I know do great work in philanthropy here and in Pakistan. They lead very unassuming lives and are humble people. I don't think it's fair to lump everybody together as in any profession there are bad examples.

July 15, 2013 12:02 am

I think the writer should not only target male doctors. About a year ago I needed a doctor in Orange County, CA. Being a Pakistani I started searching for a Pakistani professional and using Google found a fancy web site with a Pakistani name and Dow Medical college as medical school. I was hoping to see a Pakistani Doctor, the person I saw was a middle age woman with a very short mini skirt, tight blouse and over-dyed blondish hair. During 20 minutes with her she never spoke a single word of Urdu or any other Pakistani language. and tried very very hard to come up as a white American woman. Her professional skills were bogus and her English was mediocre for a physician. She charged me $300.00 as I had no insurance. Next day I called an Indian, he was very humble, very intelligent and courteous. Once he learned that I was a taxi driver he reduced his fees to $50 immediately. I found that Pakistani Lady doctor as bogus and with very low self esteem.

July 15, 2013 12:04 am

Not only you need to pass the boards, but have to do it with flying colors in order to get a residency. I know quite a few people from Pakistan who passed the boards but unable to secure a residency due to their scores. Without a residency you are qualified only as a cab driver or other menial work as most of the doctors don't have other skills as they spent a lifetime in getting a medical education.

In other words, US graduates can get a residency with marginal board scores compared to those from other countries.

July 15, 2013 1:47 am

I see some unfulfilled desires burning in this writing and jeolousy at its height.kindly go and study US doctors as whole and their families(wives)as whole.A country where not a single season is without a show,drama or soap about doctors cannot say that americans dont brag about their professions and what wrong if one is successful and proud of it so get a life and appreciate doctors and their wives and families because doctors devote much of their family time doing weekend and night calls to serve non-doctors like you and doctors wives sacrifice their family life for non-doctors so be thankful

July 15, 2013 2:55 am

Just read all the comments. How interesting to note that Pakistani men also leave all their manners behind when they have a disagreement. Why can't we understand that one doesn't have to rude when trying to make a point.

July 15, 2013 3:02 am

@naseer khan: i agree 100%

July 15, 2013 3:21 am

@justforcarp: True but good hospitals and practices and not to mention some insurance companies require you to be Board certified.

July 15, 2013 3:52 am

@Greek Tragedy: Your comment is rude and doesn't make any sense. You are a true reflection of how Pakistani men really are.

July 15, 2013 5:26 am

@Nasiroski: Quote"overpaid for little effort" tells me that you are clueless about the practice of medicine in US.Peace.

July 15, 2013 5:37 am

Excellent observation , very True , yes some will be upset by the truth , All who disagree please show me one Pakistani Doctor in Chicago who is healthy and has any hobby , other than bragging and tries to solve the world problems .there is difference between literate and educated ,most are Parrots , how many research hospitals in Pakistan ?

July 15, 2013 6:01 am

I am not agree with her all the way. Yes, some of Doctors in our city make their own circle. Does't want to meet any body else and doesn't mean all of them like this. Some of them very humble, actually come forward to greet and meet people. I have bad experience with one Doctor in my city. He was came to my home to meet with my son in laws. During conversation he ask me where you use live before this area. I told him such and such place, since that time he doesn't like to face me neither talk to me, even I tried it. What superiorty complex is, even though he knows where is coming from (Pakistan). But still, We have very nice Doctors and Phd's family friend. So, my point is five fingers are not same, there are nice, humble, down to earth people, doesn't what they are. Thanks.

July 15, 2013 6:14 am

A slap in the face - that is what they deserve. Thank you for the beautiful blog Shazia, as usual a big fan, keep writing and make them think

July 15, 2013 6:18 am

Just loved the writers candor. I agree in US, esp. in Desi and Arab circles, doctors expect special treatment and have an attitude. I rarely talk to them because of that.

M. Khanum
July 15, 2013 7:10 am

This is a free world. Everyone had a right to say what he or she believes in. I am posting links including from guardian and her own website. They are thought provoking for the readers.




July 15, 2013 7:52 am

I was at APPNA event in Orlando last week and I can certainly see that how anyone can walk away with the view that author has presented in her article. There were speeches after speeches, same speaker (all doctors running APPNA organization) on different forums and on different days kept indulging in self praise over and over again - which made it a truly boring spectacle. There were clothing and jewelry for women to shop and shop they did. There is certainly truth in the writer's observation but we humans have our contradictions and so at least for me I do see the good, the bad and the ugly in these doctors just as with any other group of people/professionals. These doctors can be pompous new money megalomaniacs and can also be genuinely caring and generous on other occasion. Overall, I think the writer is a bit harsh on these doctors and a bit naïve on her part as I think if she spends more time with successful people from other walks of life, and from any country, they will not fair much better than these doctors. But I certainly do wish that these doctors and their wives stop prancing around like a peacock and try to find true humility in their heart and souls and in their demeanor.

raw is war
July 15, 2013 8:34 am

cool girl.

July 15, 2013 9:00 am

She tried to be funny?

July 15, 2013 9:12 am

I am an indian doctor and i have lot of pakistani friends who are well settled in uk. They generally are hard working, religious and friendly. I have attended quite a few charity functions . I found them quite generous and conscious about poor people in pakistan. One thing i know for sure is majority of them are family oriented people with good balance between work-family - religion. And not many of them on Viagra. I think that statement is due to poor judgement and cheap comedy and publicity.

July 15, 2013 9:15 am

@Azad: any conversation between intelligent people assumes that any general statements has exceptions. Her statements are covered by the rulel so no need to get defensive, you just proved her point.

July 15, 2013 9:15 am

@uae dr: But seldom any brains or real education.

July 15, 2013 9:16 am

@Maqsood Ahmed: envy knows no bounds

July 15, 2013 9:22 am

Dear Shazia, your extensive criticism of innocent and unfortunate creatures of circumstances and fate is perhaps a reflection of your own conflict of your mind and soul. No, I'm not in healthcare, if you must doubt. I bet your life is very content and tranquil, or is it?

July 15, 2013 10:44 am

@Samreen: I agree! :)

I think its a case of "angoor Khattay" ;)

July 15, 2013 10:45 am

@Ahmad: Are you sure whole world is drooling for pakistanni doctors????? You guys cant even treat patients with VSD (Hole in the heart) in Pakistan!!!

Krish Chennai
July 15, 2013 10:46 am

...." If you think I am going to be impressed..because you are a Doctor...etc" Shazia, please advise how best to impress you ?

July 15, 2013 11:04 am

The same is true of any Pakistani proessional group that makes tons of money in the west. A common phenomenon duplicating culture in Pakistan.

Ahsan T
July 15, 2013 11:10 am

The article has a lot of pent up negative energy that its trying to convey. To me it shows the writers perception and definitly shows her own insecurities. I have doctors in my family who are practising in Canada and States but I have found them to be humble totally opposite of what you are trying to represent in your article. Perhaps not all doctors are the same and who are we kidding we all do like to be appreciated. I do agree with you that some do go overboard. I have a feeling your more angry that girls try to be housewives to Rich Doctors but hey it's their choice stop being so judgemental a lot of females i know love that one liner i am a US Doctor...:)

July 15, 2013 11:12 am

doctors have a right to be proud, we spend our whole lives studying and working while others are out partying, (apart from many other sacrifices). it is sad to say some loser docs try to impress others by "saying im a doc" but, the author who wrote this is pretty unattractive herself, shame on you, docs arent overpaid considering they spend at least 11 years of thier lives studying apart from the time studying for board exams, and most of it is spent living modestly and paying back loans

July 15, 2013 11:45 am

Nice comedy :d... Hahah

July 15, 2013 12:00 pm

BANG! On the money Shazia! Even though I was born in Pakistan, but having lived abroad for more than a decade now I completely relate to you when you talk about the bank balances having expanded but minds still the same.. Tough to make a rich Pakistani grow as a person..

July 15, 2013 12:43 pm

Lovely column, I enjoyed it.

July 15, 2013 1:58 pm

@Aman: She provided a service and got paid for it. They did not buy her thoughts and opinions for the rest of her life. This article is her opinion and she is obviously entitled to it.

And what is wrong with us Pakistanis! People, she is a comedian. Comedians are people who poke fun at other people. Dont you guys know how to take a joke? Learn to take life a bit less seriously.

July 15, 2013 3:07 pm

Behno aur bhaiyo......the writer is a stand-up comedian. This is not a philosophical article describing the detailed social habits of doctors let alone those of american "descent". Take it with a pinch of salt. Its a jibe at things that are funny and thats that. Laugh it off and move on but try and see ........ if you are ticked off because you see a bit of yourself in this description whether wife or husband.....that is usually the cause of offence in comedy!

Yousuf Hasan
July 15, 2013 6:59 pm

There are all kind of people, and yes we all have our flaws, one big flaw is being judgmental. Clearly that Shazia was around very troubled people during her short visit to US, who opened up so much to her and shared a lot of personal stuff with her.

APPNA gatherings in no way represent majority of Pakistani physicians and their way of life overseas. Yes it is a place to see old friends, and have hulla gulla. Still a lot of constructive stuff gets done by lots of people who are committed to improving way of life in Pakistan. I would encourage Shazia to get out of her immediate circle and connect with majority of US.

July 15, 2013 7:24 pm

In you last column you said you identified yourself as an Indian and in this column you say you suffer from "high self-esteem".

But, if you do suffer from high self-esteem, why did you identify yourself as an Indian?

This is contrasting statements in successive articles.

Which one is it? High or low self-esteem?

July 15, 2013 7:35 pm

The author seems to be out of her depth and wit on the topic. Is she really a payed comedian?

yasir javvad
July 15, 2013 11:07 pm

I admire this piece of writing. It is important to uncover the Accepted stupidities and money honored mentality

July 16, 2013 2:06 pm

@Sid: Destructively negative blanket statement.

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