In present day America you can’t usually walk into a doctor’s office with a concern. Appointments need to be made, and appointments for good doctors are usually scheduled months in advance. Whether their office accepts your insurance or not is a major factor that determines if you will see that doctor. In such times, having someone exceptionally qualified just a phone call away is like having connections at the top level of bureaucracy! It is like having access to a privileged inner circle. We the Bohras of Udaipur in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania are members of that inner circle. We are a phone call away from one of the best medical advice in the area. We have direct access to non-other than Dr. Aijaz Hussain.
November marks the fourth year in a row that Dr. Aijaz has made it to the list of Top Doctors for the year. Starting from 2013, Dr. Aijaz Hussain has been recognized every year as a top Geriatrician of the region by New Jersey Monthly. An accolade like that would usually make people inaccessible but Aijaz is still the same pillar of support for our community as he was a decade ago.
Dr. Aijaz did his MBBS from RNT medical college in Udaipur. Son of Khadija and Qutbuddin RV, he is the oldest of three brothers. While the younger brothers Ibrahim and Husseini, followed their passions to careers in non-medical fields, Aijaz has always been their inspiration and role model when it came to life and work ethics. In the words of Ibrahim, who is an IT Professional in UK,” From Aijaz I have learnt to live and experience life to the fullest”.
A man of many talents and passions chose the love of his life with great consideration. Dr. Aijaz knew the old adage of the hard working woman behind every successful man and so he ensured he had the most important ingredient for his success before he started on this journey. His wife Shehnaz, the reason for his move to USA has been his biggest inspiration, support and his rock through the ups and downs of his career. An IT Professional herself, Shehnaz is not just a wife but also the daughter, sister and niece of a doctor. No one could understand the trials and tribulations of Aijaz’s career more than Shehnaz. To ensure a stress free home life, Shehnaz took a back seat from her career when Aijaz’s career took off. She has since then been a stay at home mom to their two beautiful children, Suhail 14yrs old, and Aleena 12yrs old. She is truly the hardworking woman behind the successful Dr. Aijaz Hussain.
While the promise of the land of dreams came true for Dr. Aijaz, it was by no means served on a silver platter. When Dr. Aijaz came to the USA in 1997, he was a practicing doctor in Udaipur with some experience already under his belt. His degree or his experience counted for nothing unless he cleared the USMLE Step I, Step II and Step III exams and landed a residency at a hospital in this country. So for the first four years, while Shehnaz played the role of the bread earner, Aijaz stayed home and studied for the exams. With his determined and unwavering hard work and the blessings of his loved ones, he cleared those exams with flying colors and landed a residency at a local hospital. It was a brilliant stroke of luck that of all the interviews he gave for the residency with the hopes of getting into at least one, he got selected by a hospital that was a stone’s throw away and did not require him and Shehnaz to relocate away from the friends and family in New Jersey.
After Dr. Aijaz finished his residency he got selected to do a Fellowship in Geriatrics in St. Peters Hospital. At the end of the residency, he accepted a coveted job in Pennsylvania which made the family relocate. After a two year stint, the magnetic pull of the family and friends from NJ made Aijaz accept the position with St Peters Comprehensive care group in Monroe, NJ where the Hussain family currently lives. He quickly moved up the ladder and is now the Director of that facility. Since then, there have been many job offers, by hospitals and institutions across the nation, some paying more than double of what doctors in NJ get paid, but the Hussain’s have learnt by their experience in PA that home is where the heart is and their heart is here in NJ with family and friends from Udaipur.
Painting by Dr. Aijaz
When he is not seeing a patient or helping someone feel better, Dr. Aijaz likes to spend his time gardening and painting. He spends hours doing his own landscaping, planting trees and shrubs, raking leaves in fall and finds it all to be a major stress reliever.
Painting is another hobby close to his heart and his talent in that area can be seen adorning the walls of his beautiful NJ home. Cooking is yet another hobby, which medicine keeps him away from. The simple task of making a dressing for salad or making a ‘kachumber’ salad becomes a work of art when Dr. Aijaz gets into it. His pantry is always stocked with ingredients to make the most delicious ‘paan’ and he does not forego any opportunity to actually make them in bulk for the extended family from Udaipur when we get together.
His love for poetry is ever present and he has the extraordinary talent of expressing his emotions both sad and happy in self composed poems, usually with a touch of humor. If you ever need medical advice from Dr. Aijaz , don’t be surprised if it comes packaged with a beautifully apt couplet, a pan(if he has it handy) and a chuckle or two about what is in store as we age.
Artwork by Dr Aijaz
Article contributed by: Gazala Bohra