1. Tell us about yourself.
I am an anesthesiologist and pain specialist at Parkland Health and Hospital System. I arrived in the US 30 years ago. I was in Kansas in the beginning, then I moved to El-Paso, Texas. I then moved to Los Angeles to work at UCLA. After that, I moved back to Texas, but Dallas this time and I have been living here for the last 14 years. I am from originally from Punjab. My wife, who is a psychiatrist, is from Karachi and I have a daughter who has just graduated from college.
2. What is APPNA?
APPNA is the Association of Physicians of Pakistani Descent of North America. Our aim is to promote and conduct philanthropic work as well as promote education. It also
provides a space for Pakistani doctors and their families based in North America to
connect, build a group, a community of sorts, interact. It was founded in 1977. Today, we have over 18,000 members spread all over North America busy making healthcare and healthy lifestyle accessible to millions.
3. Tell us about your association with APPNA.
I have been associated with APPNA for a long time. I was the Treasurer and the President of the Northern Texas chapter. I was also the president of the Quaid e
Azam Medical College Alumni chapter. I have worked for several committees of
APPNA as well. This year, I will be the chairman of the 41st Annual Convention
of APPNA. It is the biggest convention organized by APPNA. It will start on the 4th
of July, 2018 at the Anatole Hilton Hotel, in Dallas and end on the 8th of July, 2018.
4. What is the convention about?
We are expecting to see over 5000 doctors and their families at this convention. On
4th, at the opening ceremony, we have invited several US politicians and congressmen. In the daytime, there will be lectures about CME i.e. Continuing Medical Education. The main focus of APPNA is to decide on the tasks and set milestones for the coming year. Last year, the convention was about launching a mobile health clinic in both the US and
Pakistan. We have made a mobile health clinic van. It was launched in Dallas and various other cities. It was also launched in Pakistan in different cities and villages. Last year, we had planned to open a Pakistan University for the students. Following up on that, we are conducting a Youth Convention this year, one of APPNA’s biggest seminars. There will be lectures about careers, advice on careers, discussion about Islamophobia. To still keep it fun there will be interactive games and competitions. Pakistan Embassy is involved in this seminar. These events will be held on the 6th and the 7th of July.
5. What is the concept behind the Youth Convention?
The idea behind the Youth Convention is to keep our children, the children of the Pakistani community here in the US, in touch with their roots and their heritage. We want them to feel proud of their heritage, their country, and being Pakistani American. We want them to be aware of the opportunities they have, how they can lead successful
careers and live here in the US. We have invited many Pakistani artists to perform at the Convention. Atif Aslam, Aima Baig, and Nabeel Shaukat will be performing. Zia Mohiyuddin will also be present. There will be an APPNA Bazaar as well, with 200 stalls
to shop from. The aim is to promote and kickstart small businesses. The stalls are for entrepreneurs having their own fashion brands, jewelry and shoes. It is to help the sellers as well as the buyers who cannot go to Pakistan to shop for all those things. It
really facilitates them.
6. What should we look forward to APPNA
APPNA is the second largest non-profit ethnic medical organization in the United States. This is the 41st year of the Convention and it is going to be the biggest convention to date. It is going to be another opportunity for Pakistani doctors based in the US to connect, discuss and endorse education, health, advocacy, and philanthropy.