The LAFP Member of the Month is a forum to recognize and highlight our members. We hope you enjoy learning about fellow members both on a personal and professional level.
The LAFP is proud to recognize M. Tahir Qayyum, MD as our March 2017 Member of the Month.
M. Tahir Qayyum, MD of Monroe has been in private practice for over 20 years. He provides the full-scope of medical care to close to 5000 patients between his two clinics in the rural community of Bastrop and Monroe. Dr. Qayyum also works tirelessly as an advocate of Family Medicine. He also proudly involved in training family medicine residents and medical students from both LSU and Tulane.
Tell us about your path to becoming a Family Physician.
I attended medical school at Army Medical College, Rawalpindi, Pakistan, completed my internship at Columbia Presbyterian College in New York and my family medicine residency at LSU Family Medicine Residency-Monroe.
Tell us about your family.
I have been married to my wife, Jennifer, for over 28 years. She is an RN and works alongside me as my business manager. Jennifer and I are blessed with 2 children, Maira and Zaib Qayyum. Maira is finishing her 3rd year of Medical School at LSU, while Zaib is in his 3rd year of Pre-Med at Tulane. Zaib is already enrolled for Tulane Medical class of 2018. Both Maira and Zaib work with charitable and student membership organizations in their respective schools.
How do you make a difference in family medicine and in my community?
Nationally I am co-chairman of Legislative/Advocacy Committee of APPNA (Association of Physician of Pakistani Descent of North America). On the State level; I am Vice President of LAFP, a member of MEDPAC, and the Legislative Committee of LAFP. Locally, I am involved in Health advisory committees providing my services for Legislators, local activist, and general public.
How did you being to take such an active role in advocacy work?
It became clear to me that as physicians, we were too busy taking care of patients and that our presence in the political arena was missing. Someone has to educate our politicians and set the record straight. As physicians, we can provide accurate information and facts to our legislators that can impact policy. "If you are not at the table, then you are on the menu." I encourage all my colleagues to get to know the legislators in their area.
If you weren't a physician, what would you be doing with your career right now?
Ever since I was a little kid, I only wanted to be a Medical Doctor. But I could imagine myself running a big multi-national corporation.
Why did you choose family medicine and what's your favorite aspect of it?
I chose Family Medicine because of the diversity of care. My favorite aspect would be Medicine as a whole, being able to educate and treat the entire family.
What is the most important quality a family physician should have?
Compassion, patience, and dedication, among other things.
What is something the "real world" has taught you about being a family physician that medical school didn't teach you?
Medical School does not prepare for the harsh realities of Corporate America. It can be very difficult dealing with the different insurance companies and their unwillingness to pay for our services. Unfortunately, corporate greed has plagued our wonderful profession to the point of destruction. Physicians are labeled as mere providers and our patients whom we serve as the consumers. Such a mechanical approach is sucking the very soul out of this profession.