Dr. Omar Akhter grew up in Pakistan and had exposures to medicine at an early age as he was born into a family of physicians. He followed the same path as the other physicians in his family and graduated from Aga Khan Medical School in Pakistan before going on to complete residency in Internal Medicine in New York City at Presbyterian Queens. He has been board-certified in Internal medicine since 2017.
He practiced hospital medicine for a few years in a large hospital system in New Jersey before eventually settling in Austin, Texas with his wife and children. Working in that system made it clear to him that he wanted to work with patients in a more meaningful and holistic way. That is why when he moved to Austin, he started a Direct Primary Care practice. He opened Madina Medicine in Jan 2020.
In toady's episode, Dr. Akter shares his passion for functional medicine and how he is able to bring his expertise to the community of Austin, TX. Hear how he transitioned from his medical training in Pakistan to New York and how this transition opened his eyes to his love for primary care and preventative medicine!
Get Out & Stay Out: starting a cash based medical practice - a presentation by AAPS President Juliette Madrigal-Dersch, MD at AAPS Feb 1, 2013 meeting in Austin, TX
Resources Recommended by Dr. Akter:
- Loom (video recording platform for video messaging)
- Doctors Pharmacy by Dr. Mark Hyman
- Dr. Ruscio Radio by Dr. Michael Ruscio
- The Drive by Dr. Peter Attia
- Solving the Puzzle by Dr. Datis Kharrazian
- Food Fix by Dr. Mark Hyman
- Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms by Dr. Datis Kharrazian
phone: (512) 601-8952
fax: (512) 382-7270
Welcome to the podcast, Dr. Akhter thanks for having me. I'm excited to speak. I think the Texans are really dominating the podcasts because, we have people from Wichita falls and Burford nuts and Houston and Austin, and this has been fantastic.
So I'm really excited to speak with yet. Another Texan in terms of you guys are really proving that DPC can thrive in a large state and in large communities. Yeah, definitely. And in Austin, there's quite a few of them and, it's so great to see how they help each other out, despite being literally in the same town.
And for those who aren't aware, what is the population size of Austin and its suburbs? Austin is about 2 million people, roughly. And ever-growing now I want to start, with your roots because as was mentioned in your bio and your credentials. You are originally from Pakistan. And I wanted to ask how is the medical system there in Pakistan compared to the U S So the medical system is quite different there.
The primary way is that you really have you go into medical school after high school. So essentially after 13 years of schooling, you go directly into a five-year medical program. So there's no real undergrad the way that they have here. So people are really making the decision to go into medicine at the age of about 18 or 19.
And then that's when they get into medical school. So it's very different in that way. Versus people here who are generally starting medical school later in life and they're much older. And then the other thing is that, we're still dealing with a lot of third world illnesses and diseases in Pakistan.
And so you're going to get a whole different way of practicing with much fewer resources. So the clinician over there really has to be a very astute clinician in terms of diagnosing and treating because you really don't have all the resources you have available here. And I think that it makes for great clinicians because you have to often diagnose pneumonias and abdominal issues without the luxury of imaging and a whole lot of blood tests.
I think that the emphasis on making it an accurate clinical diagnosis and using affordable medicine is definitely huge there. And then obviously we're dealing with different illnesses in general.
When you were in your training, having gone from high school to medical school, basically how was that emotionally for you? Because like you're saying you're younger when you go into medicine versus having, the four or five plus whatever years a person takes to go to undergrad.
How was that emotionally when you were seeing things like. Death and severe illness, especially how you described, you're dealing with serious medical illness, serious medical diagnoses with limited resources. Yeah. It's very, eye-opening for someone who's literally finishing their teenage years and then going into this type of environment especially the ER and those types of places, which are very different from the way they are here because of the nature of where you are.
In that sense, it's very different. I think, emotionally you get into the role of the physician after you get into medical school. I think here because of how difficult it is to get into medical school and all the prerequisites you have to do before.
The people who get into medical school are the ones that are generally very determined to go down this path. Whereas sometimes in, in medical school, over there, you end up, you enroll them there, you get in there. And sometimes then you're lost and it takes some time to grow into that role.
Just given the age you are and stuff. So I find that it's something that, you get into medical school first and then you soon realize what that means, what your role is and stuff. Very different. And for you, what did that journey look like before you made your transition to the states?