By Salman Kirmani, Green Card Voices
“Even if people did not know where I was from, they respected who I was; they respected I was different. Their respect was a very endearing thing for me and defined that this is the community I want to live in. This is the community I want my kids to grow up in.”
As a medical student. Dr. Kirmani was loyal to his community in Pakistan. And although his training led him to Minnesota, he believed he would return to assist and comfort the elders in his community back home.
The son of an ophthalmologist, Salman was born the youngest of six children. As a child. he was fortunate to travel the world and attend an English-speaking school. His interest in pediatrics required him to seek education opportunities abroad. And though hesitant about living in Minnesota’s notoriously frigid climate, he interviewed at the Mayo Clinic and was offered residency.
Upon arriving in Minnesota. however, Dr. Kirmani realized disparities between a Pakistani and American medical education: he was unfamiliar with the names and uses of many medical devices commonly found in American hospitals. But with the help of his new colleagues. he overcame these obstacles and is now a doctor at the Mayo Clinic and Assistant Professor of Medical Genetics and Pediatrics.
Dr. Kirmani and his wife – a fellow doctor at the Mayo Clinic – realize returning to Pakistan might be unrealistic for their family because of the escalating violence back home. But despite feeling compelled to move back and help their community, they are proud to live in a place that accepts them and to practice medicine at the Mayo Clinic.
Tea Rozman Clark, has a Ph.D. in Oral History. She is the Executive Director of Green Card Voices and a 2015-17 Bush Leadership Fellow. Green Card Voices is sharing the stories of the nation’s 40 million immigrants through their website WWW.GREENCARDVOICES.ORG
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