Pakistani American to head prestigious US physicians’ college

Published September 29, 2021
A file photo of Dr Omar Atiq. — APP/File
A file photo of Dr Omar Atiq. — APP/File

WASHINGTON: A Pakistani American physician, Dr Omar Atiq, has been nominated as the next president of the American College of Physicians (ACP). He is the only candidate.

The election, though single-slate, will take place in January 2022.

Dr Atiq is the first physician of Pakistani descent and only the second international medical graduate to be selected for this position.

“A proud and historic moment for the Pakistani American community,” Pakistan’s US envoy Asad Majeed Khan said in a tweet. “We acknowledge and appreciate this outstanding professional achievement.”

Dr Atiq, a professor of medicine and otolaryngology — head and neck surgery — is based in Arkansas. In December 2019, he wiped away $650,000 in debt for nearly 200 of his patients with cancer. Dr Atiq sent out a holiday greeting to these patients before Christmas, letting them know their outstanding payments would be cleared.

In April 2019, Dr Atiq was named chair of ACP’s Board of Governors. He has been a fellow of ACP since 1993. The fellowship is an honorary designation that recognises ongoing individual service and contributions to the practice of medicine.

Dr Atiq serves on the Arkansas State Medical Board and previously was president of the Arkansas Medical Society. He has also served a four-year term as governor of the Arkansas Chapter of ACP.

Dr Atiq earned his medical degree from the Khyber Medical College, University of Peshawar, Pakistan. He is board-certified in medical oncology, haematology and internal medicine.

The American College of Physicians is the largest medical specialty organisation in the United States with members in more than 145 countries worldwide. ACP membership includes 154,000 internal medicine physicians (internists), related subspecialists and medical students.

Published in Dawn, September 29th, 2021

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