Pakistani-American Surgeon Transplants Pig Heart into A Human Patient
Pakistani-American heart surgeon Dr. Mohammad Mansoor Mohiuddin and Dr. Bartley Griffith performed the first successful genetically-modified pig heart transplant into a human patient today at University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) hospital in Baltimore, according to the University's press release. Considered one of the world’s foremost experts on transplanting animal organs, known as xenotransplantation, Muhammad M. Mohiuddin, MD, Professor of Surgery at UMSOM, joined the UMSOM faculty five years ago and established the Cardiac Xenotransplantation Program with Dr. Griffith. Dr. Mohiuddin serves as the program’s Scientific/Program Director and Dr. Griffith as its Clinical Director.
|Dr. Mohammad Mansoor Mohiuddin|
Dr. Mohiuddin is a 1989 graduate of the Dow University of Health Sciences, Karachi, Pakistan. He came to the United States in the early 1990s and did a fellowship in Transplantation Biology and Immunology, Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery Harrison Department of Surgical Research, University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, Philadelphia, PA .
A practicing Muslim, he believes it is acceptable to use pig organs if it helps save human life. Some Islamic scholars have ruled that it is prohibited to use pig for organ transplants. However, almost all research in the field of xenotransplantation is now carried out using pigs. Researchers say pigs are a preferred choice because they grow fast and the size of their organs is similar to that of humans. There is a worldwide shortage of organ donors. Successful use of genetically modified pig hearts and other organs will help save lives in the absence of human donors.
|Foreign Doctors in US, UK. Source: OECD|
As of 2013, there were over 12,000 Pakistani doctors, or about 5% of all foreign physicians and surgeons, in practice in the United States. Pakistan is the third largest source of foreign-trained doctors. India tops with 22%, or 52,800 doctors. It is followed by the Philippines with 6%, or 14,400 foreign-trained doctors. India and Pakistan also rank as the top two sources of foreign doctors in the United Kingdom.
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Holbrooke died in December 13,2010 after his aorta ruptured.
His emergency heart surgery was performed by Dr. Farzad Najam, a Pakistani-American heart surgeon at George Washington Hospital in Washington DC.
Hillary Clinton’s doctor, Jehan El-Bayoumi, worked at George Washington and heard from a Clinton aide that an important person was coming their way. A young cardiologist named Monica Mukherjee met the ambulance at the doors and led the gurney through the emergency room to radiology.
Mukherjee called the hospital’s chief cardiac surgeon, who was fifteen minutes away. “You need to come right now. It’s a VIP.” “Who is it?” “His name is (Richard) Holbrooke.” He was wheeled into the triage trauma bay and a curtain was drawn around the gurney. Feldman was on his left side, holding his hand, and LaVine was at the foot of the bed. Mukherjee was trying to get a catheter into his right wrist to monitor blood pressure, but he was in such turmoil that she couldn’t do it. His skin was cold and clammy and he looked as if he was about to pass out, but Mukherjee was struck by how he dominated the room—not just his size but his sheer presence, the light in his ice-blue eyes.
They wheeled him to the elevator and took him up to the second floor. He kept instructing Feldman. “Tell Mort Janklow. No, wait till the operation is over, and don’t release a press statement till it’s over.” In the intensive care unit the surgeon introduced himself. “Mr. Holbrooke, I am Dr. Farzad Najam, the cardiac surgeon here.” “Any Indian-American doctor is okay with me,” Holbrooke said. Still putting on. Najam and Mukherjee exchanged a look. Najam was a Pakistani American, from Lahore. He knew about Holbrooke’s work. “Just tell me it’s going to be okay.” “Mr. Holbrooke, you have an acute aortic dissection—the aorta has ripped. It’s a surgical emergency and we need to take you to the operating room.” Najam would have to cut through the breastbone, put him on a bypass pump, and replace the aorta and perhaps the valve.
Packer, George. Our Man . Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
Prevalence of International Medical Graduates From Muslim-Majority Nations in the US Physician Workforce From 2009 to 2019
John R. Boulet, PhD; Robbert J. Duvivier, MD, PhD; William W. Pinsky, MD
Of 1 065 606 physicians in the American Medical Association Physician Masterfile, 263 029 (24.7%) were IMGs, of whom 48 354 were citizens of Muslim-majority countries at time of entry to medical school, representing 18.4% of all IMGs. Overall, 1 in 22 physicians in the US was an IMG from a Muslim-majority nation, representing 4.5% of the total US physician workforce. More than half of IMGs from Muslim-majority nations (24 491 [50.6%]) come from 3 countries: Pakistan (14 352 [29.7%]), Iran (5288 [10.9%]), and Egypt (4851 [10.0%]). The most prevalent specialties include internal medicine (10 934 [23.6%]), family medicine (3430 [7.5%]), pediatrics (2767 [5.9%]), and psychiatry (2251 [4.8%]), with 18 229 (38.1%) practicing in primary care specialties. The number of applicants for Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates certification from Muslim-majority countries increased from 2009 (3227 applicants) to 2015 (4244 applicants), then decreased by 2.1% in 2016 to 4254 applicants, 4.3% in 2017 to 4073 applicants, and 11.5% in 2018 to 3604 applicants. Much of this decrease could be attributed to fewer citizens from Pakistan (1042 applicants in 2015 to 919 applicants in 2018), Egypt (493 applicants in 2015 to 309 applicants in 2018), Iran (281 applicants in 2015 to 182 applicants in 2018), and Saudi Arabia (337 applicants in 2015 to 163 applicants in 2018) applying for certification.
Rapper-activist Mona Haydar and husband Sebastian Robins star in ‘The Great Muslim American Road Trip’ for PBS
Mona Haydar and Sebastian Robins felt they had a deep understanding of Islam. But filming “The Great Muslim American Road Trip,” a docuseries that will air on PBS this summer, made the married couple realize how much more they had to learn.
Haydar, a Syrian American rapper and activist whose music videos boast millions of views on YouTube, grew up Muslim. Robins, a writer and educator, converted to Islam after they met. The show follows the couple as they traveled from Chicago to Los Angeles via historic Route 66 in September. Along the way, they learned about Islam’s roots in America, explored nearby Muslim communities and took in the sights. In Chicago, they met with Muhammad Ali’s daughter Maryum Ali and toured the Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower) to learn about structural engineer Fazlur Rahman Khan, known for his work on the innovative tubular design for high-rises. On more than a dozen stops, Haydar and Robins visited with restaurateurs, doctors and authors.
“This is a deep passion of ours; it’s our faith and our practice,” Haydar said. “And it really felt like this epic quest of learning and finding the clues and piecing them together.”
The couple garnered widespread attention for their “Ask a Muslim” project, following terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, Calif., in 2015. Outside a Cambridge Mass., library, they set up signs that invited passersby to “talk to a Muslim” and ask them questions over free doughnuts and coffee. Haydar’s song “Hijabi (Wrap My Hijab)” was also named one of 2017’s best protest songs by Billboard.
By The Way talked to the Michigan-based couple about the goals of their show, how the trip informed their feelings about identity and assimilation, and how they handled the long drive.
Q: How did the idea for the show come about?
Mona: It was an interesting call we got asking us if we were interested in taking a road trip across the country, and we kind of hopped on the opportunity. Having been a couple for almost a decade, and parents for basically eight of those years, for us it was an exciting opportunity to explore a little bit of Route 66 and also our own relationship.
Q: What did you learn about the Muslim American experience along the way?
Sebastian: I feel like from beginning to end, it was really kind of mind-blowing and -opening for us.
Mona: Our son listens to audiobooks, and he loves the ones about mysteries and solving the mystery. And it actually felt that way a little bit of the time to me, where we were on this epic quest to unearth the hidden secrets. We’re both highly educated people, and we both somehow were not educated at all about this particular topic.
Q: What do you hope viewers take away from the show?
Mona: I hope people laugh at us. We’re very kind of corny and we have our little inside jokes, and I hope that people feel let in on that because I think we’re funny and I think we have a funny rapport and banter. I hope that that’s what people take away, feeling a human connection in a time where so many of us were isolated for so long.
Sebastian: We really wanted to use that journey as a lens for something bigger. I hope people can kind of see that story through us, [with] us as this lens or this magnifying glass or this reflection booth, to tell the story of a group of people that has largely either been ignored or maligned. I don’t mean just celebrities like Malcolm X and Muhammad Ali, who deserve all the research and stories and movies they can get, but the people who are running restaurants, the people who are rebuilding mosques, the people who are —
Mona: Doctors and serving their communities.