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A medical college in Peshawar, Pakistan, has named a new training center for Dr. S. Amjad Hussain, a University of Toledo professor emeritus of surgery and a member of UT's board of trustees.
In an email from Pakistan, Dr. Hussain said Wednesday's announcement by Khyber Medical College was "a total surprise to me."
"Unexpected accolades and recognitions are very significant and thus very humbling," he said. "This is the first time in the history of Khyber Medical College that a center has been named after anyone."
The $1.5 million facility on the medical college campus, is expected to be used by students, physicians in training, and faculty to hone their clinical skills. It was built with the collaboration of the government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, Khyber Medical College, and Khyber Medical College Alumni in North America.
A 1962 graduate of Khyber Medical College, Dr. Hussain completed his medical training in the United States from 1963 to 1970 before returning to Khyber for four years. He said that after moving back to the United States in 1976, he made annual visits to Khyber, where he would spend a month teaching courses in thoracic and cardiovascular surgery and also performing surgeries. "Some years I would extend my stay in Pakistan and also teach in other medical colleges in Pakistan," he said.
"It has been an extremely rewarding experience. In a way it is an attempt, albeit an extremely small one, to pay back the moral debt that I owe to the people of this country," he said. Dr. Hussain said he still returns each year to deliver lectures to medical students and faculty, but, after his retirement in 2004, decided not to operate during his visits.
Overall, he said, the standard of medical education has declined in Pakistan -- another factor that motivates him. "The alumni of Khyber in the U.S. are dedicated to help improve medical education in the college," Dr. Hussain said.
According to a release from the medical college, Dr. Hussain established an endowed visiting professorship at the University of Toledo that enables young faculty members from Khyber to visit UT's college of medicine and life sciences, formerly the Medical College of Ohio, to learn research methodology and teaching techniques. Nine Khyber faculty members have participated so far.
Khyber's new center was named for Dr. Hussain, they said, in recognition of his accomplishments as a surgeon, writer, explorer, and philanthropist.
Dr. Hussain is the author of more than 50 scientific papers and 10 books and is a columnist to The Blade.