An Interview with Nazeer Haider Khan, MD
There are many names in the world of medicine and health, but a few special names float up above the others. One of these acknowledged names is Dr. Nazeer Haider Khan “Dr. Naz”. He is currently the founder, owner, a shareholder of several Healthcare companies along with a range of experienced years in the field of medicine and research. Dr. Khan has earned numerous awards and has established himself as a successful, renowned personality.
Sara Revonia interviewed Dr. Nazeer Haider Khan over a cup of coffee and found it a pleasure to get to know him.
Sara: Dr. Naz, did you always want to become a doctor?
Dr. Naz: Up until high school, I was wishful of becoming an aerospace engineer. I was somewhat reluctant to become a doctor because my father, Haider Ali Khan, MD, was a doctor, too. I had seen him working so hard to give me and my siblings a good life, and when he and I had the ‘career decision’ talk, it was his passion, compassion, and determination as a doctor that drove my energy to decide on becoming a doctor. As I grew older I began to comprehend more on how compassionate and humble my father was as a Physician and how he gave back so very unselfishly to the communities we resided in and those less fortunate.
I was never afraid of the long hours or the hard work, and I am glad that my father influenced me into this profession.
Sara: That’s great! So, Dr. Naz, did your father guide your attention or behavior towards how to perform in this field?
Dr. Naz: My father was very much instrumental as a mentor in my behavior towards how to perform in the field of Medicine. His sacrifices, hard work, compassion, sense of responsibilities are some of the attributes of my father that I wanted to emulate not only as a Physician but as a Person. One of the many things he taught me that I have firmly incorporated in my behavior towards my patients was that to be a good doctor, I must treat every patient as if they are my own family members.
Sara: What a wonderful lesson! Dr. Naz, I have studied your profile and I can see that you have had a very society-oriented approach. You have expressed your interest to ‘give back to the society’. How do you plan on doing that?
Dr. Naz: We all owe to the society in one way or the other. In my case, I saw a lot of people suffering over my years of experience as a doctor, and since a doctor tries to minimize a patient’s suffering, I’m treating society as one of my patients and trying to minimize its suffering as a whole. One of the attributes that we learned from my father was to always give back to your community and the less fortunate. Some examples of projects our family is working on is: skill acquisition schools boys and girls in India, free medical clinic for those less fortunate in India, eye surgery initiatives for the less fortunate in India, developing a community center focused on providing education, healthcare, and food to the less fortunate in my Parents home town in the USA. Along with myself personally partaking in several local community volunteering initiatives. Currently, my other Partners and I are focusing on building and managing dozens of Primary Care clinics focused solely on the care of the elderly in the United States.
Sara: Okay, Dr. Naz, what was it like growing up? What drove you to work harder, reach higher for success?
Dr. Naz: I had immigrated here with my family with nothing so it wasn’t easy. We didn’t even know English. We all lived in a small studio while my father worked hard to make ends meet before becoming a practicing physician in America. So my parents made a lot of sacrifices and put in immense hard work to raise us kids and their other siblings in a completely different society. So just by seeing how hard my parents worked to help us all get an education and the basics in life was a direct driver in influencing me to work hard. Therefore, when I went off to college I was on my own and had to continue to strive for success knowing the sacrifices my parents had made for me to get this far.
Sara: Very thoughtful. Now, you have transitioned from clinical practice to administrative roles. How did that happen?
Dr. Naz: Yes, I had gained some exposure to administrative medicine when I was an Internal Medicine Resident Physician at Rush Presbyterian Medical Center in Chicago by mentoring with some of the Medical Directors and Physician Executives. In fact, during my Chief Residency year, I would be teaching residents and medical students, working in the clinics, and the Emergency Room during the daytime and in the evenings attending Kellogg Business School at Northwestern University. Then in 2002, I had the opportunity to springboard my administrative career by working with my father and sister in Florida. My Father and Sister, Sabiha Khan, were amazing teachers, they were tough but amazing. They were innovative and, now that I look back, they were Pioneers in Administrative Medicine. Slowly I began gravitating toward more and more responsibilities in Administrative medicine and also began to see that I can make a larger impact in society and patient care by having both healthcare administrative and clinical medicine foundation. To this day, I still keep my Medical Licenses active and continue to stay on top of my Continuing Medical Education.
Sara: Sounds good. Moving on, are there any professional organizations that you are associated with currently?
Dr. Naz: Of course. Currently, I am a member of the American Medical Association, Florida Medical Association and American College of Physicians (American Society of Internal Medicine).
Sara: Okay, Doctor. Have you taken any part in research?
Dr. Naz: Yeah, I love to research. Since my early Undergraduate years at Knox College, I began to partake basic sciences research in molecular genetics and biochemistry with my mentor Dr. Bill Geer. In Undergraduate I earned several research prizes, grants, and fellowships. I also conducted an Honors Thesis as an undergraduate, which later on was published in a science journal. In Medical School, again, I began conducting clinical research in Orthopedic Surgery Sports Medicine with my mentor Dr. Bernard Bach. Again, we ended up publishing my clinical research in a very prominent orthopedic medical journal. Even today, I participate in clinical trials with the clinics I currently own. I truly feel that partaking in research helps one innovate in our field and be at the forefront of medicine
Sara: You have received numerous awards and honors and Is it true that you were accepted into Medical School in the first year of Undergraduate.
Dr. Naz: That is true, I received numerous awards in undergrad, medical school, and in Residency, but the one honor that I will always cherish the most was when I became accepted into Rush Medical College in Chicago, IL at the end of my first year at Knox College. That Medical School acceptance truly was the ultimate prize to myself and my family, given the path that we had traveled since immigrating to the United States, all of the hard work and sacrifice by my parents and ultimately flowing into me. That acceptance also gave me confidence in myself knowing that there wasn’t anything that I couldn’t accomplish by working hard, as well as, it now also raised the bar for me to continue to achieve greater things and always strive to perform at a very high level while still remaining humble.
Sara: Dr. Naz, what is it that I heard that one of your favorite hobbies is flying an airplane, what is the story behind that?
Dr. Naz: [Chuckles…] That is correct, I love aviation and I love to pilot an airplane. I took a few years off from flying recently, however, I am getting back in renewing my Pilot certifications to be flying solo again. It truly is my moment of Zen when I am in the air at the control of an airplane and flying in the sky and absorbing all that nature lays out for me to view and appreciate. It is exhilarating and at the same time very challenging and enormous pressure (but again who am I to shy away from challenge and pressure). I have amazing stimulation every day professionally but getting behind the controls of an airplane gives me another level of stimulation that is hard to put into words.
Sara: Thank you for your precious time, Dr. Naz. Last one now: You have become an inspiration to others in the field. What have you learned in your experience that you would like your followers to know?
Dr. Naz: Thank you for having me. In my experience of over 20 years now, my career in Medicine has given me so much enlightenment and humility. I am exposed to so many individuals that come to me and my colleagues seeking help, and I strive to work my hardest to help them regain and/or maintain their health. Health is the most precious thing we are given and we are only given one body. My upbringing was a very modest and unique upbringing as being an immigrant and learning to navigate this society toward becoming a successful Physician and as a Human. I learned a lot from my Parents… personally and professionally. I hope to emulate the hard work, sacrifice, compassion, giving, humbleness that they portrayed to ensure that we children had all that we needed to succeed in life. And it is this value that I live by every day personally and professionally!! My mother told me when I was young, that there was nothing you could not achieve if you worked hard, kept an open mind, eagerness to learn, and stayed humble!!!