Meet our Medical Director
Q&A with Dr. Muhammad Babar board-certified, internal medicine, geriatric medicine, hospice, and palliative medicine; president, Kentuckiana Geriatric and Palliative Services PLLC.
LOUISVILLE BUSINESS FIRST
Jan 18, 2019, 6:00am EST
Dr. Muhammad Babar, board-certified, internal medicine, geriatric medicine, hospice, and palliative medicine; president, Kentuckiana Geriatric and Palliative Services PLLC
Years in practice: 14
Years in health care field: 20
What inspired you to pursue a career in health care? I grew up with my grandparents in the countryside of Punjab, Pakistan. My grandfather who was a veteran of the second world war with the British Indian Army always told me stories about a physician who had become his friend during military service. He always described how courteous and compassionate this physician was, and how he wanted me to become a physician just like his friend. I think the stories of my grandfather and the fact that family physicians serving my town were held in such high esteem in the community became an inspiration for me to pursue medicine. Quite frankly, I gave everything that I had to fulfill this dream and became the top graduate of my medical school class which was quite remarkable for a kid from a small town.
What’s the most rewarding part of your job? The most challenging? It is quite humbling and rewarding to see improvement in the condition of a fellow being who can now rest comfortably after struggling for each breath upon admission to the hospital. This feeling becomes even more precious when a critically ill patient turns around the corner despite all medical odds. It is gratifying when my humble efforts ensure that a patient will recover to remain physically present in the lives of his loved ones.
It is very challenging to cope with the unexpected death of a patient, especially the young. Similarly, it is heartbreaking to see young people throwing away the precious gift of life in this drug epidemic. These days it is quite a common occurrence where I see parents and kids dying due to complications of intravenous drug abuse. It is against the natural cycle of life and my heart tears apart on imagining the extent of pain that elderly parents and innocent children have to endure for the rest of their lives.
What works in our health care system? What doesn’t? Our health care is the best in the world with its strong training programs and advancements in medical knowledge. That is why our country attracts the best of the best from the rest of the world in medicine and our patients receive the best possible care without delay.
The cost of healthcare is unsustainable and will bring the system down. Frivolous lawsuits have resulted in defensive medicine which is also driving the health care expenses. That is one of the main reasons that not many young physicians want to pursue a career in geriatric medicine even though there is a tremendous need to take care of aging Baby Boomers.
How is technology changing the way you do your job? Technology is playing a major role in redefining medical practice. Electronic medical records to medical applications in handheld smartphones have made medical information and knowledge readily available. Gene and stem cell therapies along with cutting-edge medical research will result in the cure of major ailments in our lifetime.
How can Louisville best take advantage of its expertise in the health care and aging care industries to grow the economy? According to projections by the Census Bureau, older people will outnumber children for the first time in U.S. history by 2035. I believe Louisville being the mecca of long-term and the aging care industry could tremendously benefit from this change in population demographics. It will strengthen the local economy and create thousands of jobs in the health care industry. Unfortunately, outside shark law firms with their frivolous lawsuits pose the biggest threat to health care and may result in an exodus of the aging care industry from our commonwealth in the coming years.
What do you see as some of the best jobs in health care right now? Concierge medical practices are gradually becoming the most attractive job opportunities for physicians due to independence from health care insurers and a high volume of patients. It also gives you the satisfaction of seeing fewer patients at your own pace with a continuum of care.