By Mercy's Jeff Raymond
Mercy Hospital Ada has named pulmonologist and critical care specialist Dr. Imtiaz Ahmed vice president of medical affairs. He began his new duties April 1.
In his new role, Ahmed will join the hospital’s senior management and provide leadership to clinical staff and administrators. He will focus on implementing new initiatives for the hospital and will lead the quality team to improve care overall.
“Dr. Ahmed is passionate about providing specialized services to patients who are unable to travel long distances for care and values the opportunity to care for his patients throughout the entire spectrum of illness,” Mercy Hospital Ada President Lori Wightman said. “He is a physician-leader in every sense of both words.”
Ahmed has been Mercy Ada’s chief of staff since 2014 and will be leaving that position as he transitions into his new role. He is board-certified in pulmonary medicine, critical care medicine, internal medicine and sleep medicine.
Ahmed traces his interest in medicine to the compassionate care his father received from Pakistani physicians after his diabetes, high blood pressure and peripheral neuropathy worsened. The family had to relocate to the southern Pakistani city of Karachi when East Pakistan became part of Bangladesh in 1971, displacing millions. Ahmed’s father traveled back and forth between Pakistan and Bangladesh for several years, neglecting his health during the turbulent time and setting himself up for poor health later in life.
“His diabetes and high blood pressure were definitely uncontrolled during that time,” Ahmed said.
The attention his father received from a cardiothoracic surgeon, Dr. Iftikhar Rathor, particularly stood out. He performed surgery for fibromyosarcoma for free and was the epitome of professionalism and courtesy.
“Knowing that the two sons were a physician and a physician-to-be, he didn’t charge us,” Ahmed said of himself and his brother, now an otolaryngologist in Ireland.
After completing a residency in internal medicine, Ahmed wanted to go into either nephrology or critical care. His father’s advanced kidney disease made nephrology appealing, but the pace and pressures of critical care suited him better.
“I view critical care medicine as an ever-evolving field,” he said.
Ahmed’s new role will be a part-time commitment, which will allow him to continue to see patients at Mercy Clinic Pulmonology.
“What I do today in critical care medicine is very healing for me as well,” he said, describing caring for the sick as an extension of his faith.
Ahmed received a bachelor of medicine and surgery in 1988 from the Dow Medical College at the University of Karachi. From 1992-2002, Ahmed practiced medicine in the United Arab Emirates and cared for his ailing father in Pakistan. Ahmed came to the United States in 2002 and completed an internal medicine residency at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey in 2005. In 2008, he completed a post doctoral fellowship in pulmonary and critical care medicine. He then worked for three years as a consulting physician and clinical director of the Central Oklahoma Family Medical Center in Konawa. He joined the staff of the hospital in 2008. He has been a board member, chief of staff and medical director of the intensive care and respiratory services unit.
Ahmed is married and has two children. His wife is an assistant professor at the Baylor University College of Medicine.