Author: S. Zaheer Hasan, M.D
The history of our alumni association started with a personal story. After training in Ohio for 2 years and holding a temporary training license, I was painfully informed by the State Medical Board in 1986 that my medical school was not recognized for accreditation and licensure. All other Foreign medical schools listed in the World Directory of Medical schools, 1970 edition, published by the World Health Organization (WHO) were grandfather in. Since Quaid-a-Azam Medical College (QAMC) became operational in 1971, it did not enter into that edition of the directory, it was not recognized by the State Medical Board at that time. They did not tell me that they had approached QAMC for further documentation. I had previously been licensed in two other states. Apparently, I was the first applicant from QAMC to request permanent licensure in the State of Ohio. The possibility of losing my clinical fellowship was in sight.
After a frustrating encounter of almost a year with the State Board, I was informed that four separate surveys sent to QAMC had not been responded to. These surveys were perhaps thrown into oblivion due to clerical apathy which is prevalent in Pakistan. Eventually, they had me pay for a FedEx delivery directly to the Office of the Principal, bypassing the student clerks, who saw no reason to oblige to the State Board’s colossal 100-page inquiry with supporting documents. Drs. Waqar Aziz and S.Ijlal Haide Rizvi and Mr Abdul Majid, helped fill these out. I owe a personal gratitude to them. At that time, very few graduates of our medical school pursued careers overseas and QAMC administration did not know how to deal with inquiries and documentation. Eventually, I became the first graduate of QAMC to be licensed in the State of Ohio. The reason I explain this, is to show you how far we have come since.
Through this frustrating and tedious process, I approached Association of Physicians of Pakistan descent of North America (APPNA), to seek their help, at the least by authenticating the existence of QAMC. Sadly, they also had never heard of our college and could not offer any help. Probably, I was the first Quadian to have ever contacted APPNA.
This started the process of registering QAMC as a nascent alumnus with APPNA. I started the frustrating task of locating QAMC graduates scattered all over the United States and painstakingly, convincing them to join APPNA. Could only find and convince 20 Quaidans. The critical number for full alumni status was 25 licensed and practicing members. Therefore, between 1986-92 , QAMCANA was only granted an observer status. In-training physicians in the US were not given full APPNA membership. Eventually we reached the goal of twenty-five when more graduates went into practice. At that time many had lost interest in the alumnus, frustrated by yearly renewal requirements and lack of centralized tracking and communication.
In addition, majority of young Physicians went into the initial struggling phase of establishing their practices and understandably had other pressing priorities.
In 1992, Dr. Manzoor Tariq offered to pick up the gauntlet and take this organization further. We held our first meeting in Chicago in 1992 which was very disappointing as some friends did not see the need for this organization. Dr. Tariq and I decided that the only way forward was to gather 25 like-minded members to become life-time members of APPNA and QAMCAANA, to avoid the frustrating yearly renewal and tracking process. Since that day, we have been able to maintain full and permanent alumnus status with APPNA. I commend Dr. Tariq for taking on this colossal task and infusing a greater amount of energy, enthusiasm, time as well as resources to convince people to shed off the apathy and stand up for recognition of our alma mater. Otherwise, our existence as an association (QAMCAANA) and recognition of QAMC would never have happened. We owe him a great debt and gratitude for taking us further and in getting us recognized and appreciated by the National Association. I am convinced that the crowning moment for our organization was his ascension to the presidency of APPNA. This solidly put us on the map.
Let us strive to keep it that way Insha’Allah.
List of Past Presidents of QAMCAANA in the chronological order:
- 1992-2004 Dr. Manzoor Tariq (Founding president)
- 2005-2005 Dr. Shabbar Hussain
- 2006-2006 Dr. Khawar Ismail
- 2007-2008 Dr. Dawood Nasir
- 2009-2009 Dr. Farooq Khokar
- 2010-2010 Dr. Shabbar Hussain
- 2011-2012 Dr. Masoud Elahi Mian
- 2013-2015 Dr. Khalid Iqbal
- 2016-Now Dr. Khawar Ismail
- 2021-2022 Dr. Muhammad Riaz (Elect)