People often assume that AMO clinical experiences are only for international medical students and graduates. In reality, we offer clinical experiences to international or foreign medical trainees, U.S. medical trainees, and even dual citizens—like AMO Ambassador Abdullah. Abdullah, a third-year medical student at The University of Lahore, calls both Pakistan and America home. Abdullah is planning to split his education equally between the two countries completing medical school in Pakistan and transitioning to residency in the U.S.
We’re excited to see his education progress and know he’ll be met with success. After all, he completed a clinical experience with us when he was just a second-year student. How’s that for being a go-getter. Learn more about Abdullah; continue reading below to find out which medical specialty he’d like to pursue during residency!
Q: Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your medical education? What’s it like being a third-year medical student?
A: For starters, I’m 26 and was born in Columbus, Ohio. I am Pakistani-American through and through; I really do love both countries and cultures equally. My third year of medical school is challenging, amazing, and fulfilling, wrapped up into one! It’s tough in the sense that I’m constantly digging through two years of basic science knowledge and trying to apply it to clinical science. Eventually, I’ll have to apply both to treating patients. It’s incredible to see the direct effect of new knowledge and applications on patients. It’s fulfilling in the sense that I’m getting closer to becoming a physician.
Q: What do you like best about medical school? What do you like least?
A: I like that I learn something new daily, whether through didactics or attending rounds. The knowledge I learn today, tomorrow, or next week could mean the difference between life and death. The power that medicine holds makes me fall in love with it more and more each day. If I had to answer what I like least about medical school, I’d probably say the stress that comes with it.
Q: You have citizenship in both the U.S. Pakistan—that’s pretty unique. Do you plan to practice medicine in one country or the other?
A: Dual citizenship is a unique attribute in my arsenal. I am grateful that I can call both countries home, celebrate both cultures, and see the two meld in my identity. I do plan to return to the U.S. for residency.
Q: What made you decide to participate in a rotation with AMO in Miami, Florida?
A: My in-laws are live in Miami, so that attributed to the decision. Aside from that, though, the area is beautiful. I love the city’s vibrancy, weather, and fusion of cultures.
Q: We know you have a few years left of school, but do you have an idea of what specialty you would like to pursue during residency?
A: Yes! I am very passionate about orthopedics. I’d like to focus on trauma and adult reconstruction specifically.
Q: How did you decide you were interested in this specialty? Was there a moment where you thought, ‘this is interesting’ or ‘I could be good at that’?
A: When I was a kid, I always helped my dad with carpentry work. I loved getting things in proper working order, which is the foundation of orthopedics. Once, I shadowed an orthopedic trauma surgeon in Chicago. I saw how he stabilized a severe fracture on an elderly patient. Without immediate realignment and fixation, this injury would have left the patient unable to walk. The physician spent more than five hours reconstructing the patient’s fracture—I was fixated the entire time.
Q: Are there any huge differences between healthcare in the U.S. and Pakistan? If so, what are they?
A: There are huge differences between healthcare in the U.S. and Pakistan, mainly from a developmental standpoint. One country has all of the latest and greatest; the other is a developing country that still struggles to deliver quality healthcare with consistency.
Q: Outside of medicine, what interests you? Are there any hobbies you enjoy?
A: I am passionate about taking care of myself. I try to eat right and work out as often as I can. I also love to read, and I enjoy spending time outdoors. Additionally, I am a fan of automotive racing and aeronautics.
Q: How do you balance your course load with these hobbies, your relationships, and other commitments you may have? Is there a secret to making time for everything?
A: It is all about compartmentalizing, time management, and priorities. I married the love of my life in March of 2021. While it was one of the greatest blessings I’ve had in life, and my wife understands school and clinic work demands, I have to make time for our relationship. I wouldn’t say there is a secret to getting things right, but proper communication and good time management help.
Q: Where do you see yourself in 20 years?
A: I’d like to be in a fully-fledged fellowship-trained orthopedic trauma and adult reconstruction surgeon.
Q: What’s the best piece of advice anyone has given to you?
A: The Golden Rule is a great one—always treat others the way you would want to be treated.
Participate in a clinical experience like Abdullah!