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Busharat "Bush" Ahmad, MD

Busharat Ahmad, MD, known as “Bush” by many of his colleagues, is one of the most well-known and respected IMGs in the United States. He is a strong advocate for IMGs, and continues to be a leader working on behalf of IMGs.

As a leader on IMG issues, Dr. Ahmad shares his personal story and insights below:

How did you come to practice medicine in the U.S.? Briefly tell us your history of how and why you came to the U.S.
"I wanted to do my post graduate studies either in England or in the United States. I chose this country for its freedom of speech, freedom of association, and freedom of religion. Also, I wanted to be where education and research is at its premium."

What advice would you give to an IMG coming to the U.S. today?
"Before you decide to come to this country, be sure of your goals and plans for the future. The decision to uproot, has to be combined with your total commitment to your profession. You have to abide by the laws, rules and regulations of the medical system in this country, while you make sure that you achieve your goal to succeed in the field you want to pursue. Remember--- to rise above the norm and succeed, you must become part of the system. You must be an integral part of medical organizations.  Work from within so that you may be able to have a say in the decision making process. Do not isolate yourself, but assimilate into the system."

Why did you become involved in organized medicine?
"I believe that organized medicine speaks for the physicians of this country and it behooves all the physicians to join organized medicine and the AMA. From the beginning I realized that IMGs are not treated fairly in our health system. I wanted to change this inequality and bring fairness and non-discrimination for IMGs. This has been my main objective all along. I feel proud that I am able to make a difference."

Did you have a mentor, colleague, or friend that served as a role model for your career and organized medicine involvement?
"Dr. A. D. Minhas and Dr. M. A. Shah, professors of ophthalmology at Dow Medical College were the reason I went into ophthalmology.  When I joined my first Ophthalmology practice in 1971 in Marquette, Michigan my associate, Dr. Fred Sabin encouraged me to join AMA.  He was very involved in the organized medicine. I also joined the Michigan State Medical Society where I met Dr. John Coury, a past president of the AMA. Dr Coury took me under his wings, encouraged me and taught me to navigate the AMA. He was my role model.  Dr. Claus Dohlman of Harvard Medical School was my role model in ophthalmology and cornea and refractive surgery. He was the professor in ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School and head of the Cornea and Refractive Surgery department at the Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary in Boston."

AMA leadership involvement
Busharat Ahmad, MD was on the first and second AMA ad hoc committees to study FMG (IMG) issues and was the chair of the first and second IMG Advisory Committees. He also served as the first chair of the AMA IMG Section Governing Council in 1997.   He is a delegate to the AMA House of Delegates from Michigan and has served on the AMA Council on Long Range Planning and Development (CLRPD).  Dr. Ahmad is a trustee and secretary of the Education Council for Foreign Medical Graduates Board. He continues to be active in the AMA IMG section, regularly attending IMG Governing Council, Congress, and Caucus meetings.

Other organizational involvement
Dr. Ahmad was the first chair of the Michigan State Medical Society (MSMS) section for international medical graduates and has served in numerous other leadership positions within the MSMS. At present, he serves on the Board of Trustees of the MSMS Health Foundation, a non-profit organization and serves as a Trustee on the HUDA Clinic Board, a free clinic in downtown Detroit, Michigan.  He has held leadership positions with the Eye Bank Association of America (serving as its national president),  and the American Council of Transplantation.  Dr. Ahmad is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons, American Academy of Ophthalmology, International College of Surgeons and the Society of Eye Surgeons. He is also a diplomat in Ophthalmology, Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of England.

Education and medical practice
Dr. Ahmad received his M.B.B.S. (M.D.) from Dow Medical College, University of Karachi, Karachi, West Pakistan and a Diploma in Ophthalmology (D.O.) from the University of London Institute of Ophthalmology in London, England. He was a resident in neurosurgery and plastic surgery at Vancouver, General Hospital, a resident in ophthalmology in St. Louis, Missouri, a fellow in ophthalmology cornea service at Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary and a research fellow, at the Cornea Retina Foundation in Boston, Massachusetts.

He has practiced ophthalmology in Michigan for almost thirty years in Monroe, Detroit, and Marquette.  He has also held academic positions with Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan, Jinnah Post-Graduate Medical Centre, Karachi, Pakistan, and Dow Medical College, in Karachi, Pakistan.

Send an e-mail to img@ama-assn.org if you have a question or comment regarding this profile.