Nadir Ahmad, MD, FACS

On one hand, Nadir Ahmad, MD, FACS, SGU ’00, practices what only a select group of physicians do – Otolaryngology or ENT – ears, nose, throat, head, face, and neck. The scope of this specialty – from head and neck surgical oncology, thyroid and parathyroid surgery, and skull base surgery to microvascular reconstructive surgery – is as broad as can be.

“The breadth of what ENTs do is remarkable,” said Dr. Ahmad, chair of the Division of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery at Cooper University Health Care and the Cooper Medical School of Rowan University in Camden, NJ. “There is never a dull moment in our field. Head and neck anatomy is the most intricate anatomy in the entire body. It requires both finesse and skill to operate in this region, as there is very little margin for error. Because the five senses of the body are housed in the head and neck, as well as the important functions of speech, swallowing and breathing, medical and surgical care in this region can be both demanding and challenging.”

US News and World Report named Dr. Ahmad to its list of “Top Doctors” in 2011 and 2012, placing him in the top 10 percent of US otolaryngologists. One of his main interests is in robotic surgery. He performs transoral robotic surgery (TORS), which is an innovative surgical approach to difficult to access tumors in the throat and voice box region.

His main goals are to establish an otolaryngology residency program at Cooper in the near future. He’s also helping develop the clinical portion of the medical curriculum at Cooper, which welcomed its first matriculating class in July 2012.

“Cooper is transitioning into a new era. Previously, it was a large tertiary care, academic-affilitated hospital,” Dr. Ahmad said of Cooper, which has recruited several SGU grads for various departments and divisions at Cooper. “Now it has its own medical school and is a major academic medical center.”

Prior to his tenure at Cooper, Dr. Ahmad spent four-and-a-half years as an Assistant Professor and Attending Surgeon in the Department of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery at the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU)/Medical College of Virginia (MCV) Medical Center in Richmond, VA. He was actively involved in residency training during that time. During his time at MCV, he was also a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Dermatology.

He’s been drawn to otolaryngology since he was very young. His father is an otolaryngologist, who has been practicing in Michigan for over 30 years. Dr. Ahmad’s drive to follow in his footsteps only picked up steam at SGU.

“My father was my main inspiration,” Dr. Ahmad said. “Then when I went to medical school at SGU and was exposed to head and neck anatomy and physiology, it solidified my career path more, and once I did my rotations and electives, that sealed the deal for me.”

That ENTs are both a physician and surgeon for their patients made it an especially attractive specialty.

“There are very few fields where you’re both,” he said. “ENTs are all-encompassing doctors for their patients, and we see both genders and all age groups.”

Upon earning his MD, Dr. Ahmad did his general surgery internship at Brown University/Rhode Island Hospital in Providence, RI. From there, he went on to otolaryngology residency at the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit, MI, and was chief resident in 2006-2007. He was awarded the resident of the year for the Henry Ford Health System in 2007. He then completed his fellowship in head and neck oncologic surgery, microvascular reconstructive surgery, and cranial base surgery at the one of the premier programs in the country, the Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, TN.

Dr. Ahmad is a diplomate of the American Board of Otolaryngology, a fellow of the American College of Surgeons (FACS) and a fellow of the American Head and Neck Society. He is also a member of the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery and the Society of Robotic Surgeons.

Dr. Ahmad is originally from Pakistan. He recently was invited on three separate occasions as a visiting surgeon at Indus Hospital and Dow University Health Sciences/Civil Hospital, both in Karachi. During that time, he performed approximately 30 surgeries at no cost to the patients. This past December, he was the keynote speaker at the Pakistan Society of Otolaryngology Annual Meeting.

Dr. Ahmad looks back fondly on his experience at SGU.

“St. George’s University positioned me to have a long and successful career in otolaryngology,” he said. “Grenada was an ideal environment to work hard and play hard. I had a great experience and it was great to see the development of the True Blue campus. It’s fantastic to see how much the University has expanded.”

Mary Parry, MD

The news came in, and a wave of emotions overcame Mary Parry – joy, relief, excitement, pride. At Vetsim 2013 held at the University of Nottingham, the very institution at which she began her journey to a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, she learned that she had passed the rigorous Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons statutory examination, completing her lifelong mission of becoming a member of the Royal College.

“It was an incredible feeling,” Dr. Parry said. “I’d wanted to be a veterinarian since I was 3 years old so it truly was amazing.”

Mr. Austin Kirwan, assistant dean for UK clinical affairs at St. George’s University, saw Dr. Parry come full circle. In 2008, he interviewed her, then a prospective student, for the University of Nottingham’s pre-veterinary science program, a gateway to earning her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at SGU. Then at Vetsim, a conference at which prospective vet students can strengthen their application through clinical enhancement courses, Mr. Kirwan stood alongside Dr. Parry as she received the news.

“Mary has a dogged determination to achieve,” he said. “This is what St. George’s does – it takes people who are told they aren’t going to achieve something and turns them into veterinary surgeons. To witness it truly gives you the chills. For her to achieve what she’s achieved opens all these doors for her.”

Dr. Parry grew up in the Lake District in Cumbria, United Kingdom, and attended Sedbergh School, a co-educational boarding school. She entered the pre-veterinary science program at the University of Nottingham in September 2008 before going on to the four-year DVM program at SGU. In addition to her studies, Dr. Parry was president of SGU’s British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) student group, and students can take advantage of such opportunities as the dentistry and farriery wet labs, which are run through the University’s Large Animal Society (LAS).

She credits SGU’s Department of Educational Services (DES) for its guidance throughout her three years in Grenada.

“The DES at St. George’s is really helpful,” Dr. Parry said. “Visiting with the students that help there helps you focus and they’re happy to review the material with you to make sure you understand it. The professors also make themselves readily available outside of class.”

She went on to complete her clinical rotations at the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies at the University of Edinburgh. Dr. Parry appreciated the practical aspect of the veterinary medicine program at SGU, which she felt prepared her for her clinical rotations at Edinburgh.

“I would recommend anyone to go to SGU without a shadow of doubt,” Dr. Parry said. “I’m convinced that, had I gone to a UK vet school, I probably wouldn’t have qualified. The education, experience, and support that I obtained at St. George’s was crucial to my success.”

A longtime horse enthusiast, she looks forward to continuing her career in diagnostic imaging at an equine practice. Dr. Parry has seen practice at The Dick Vet Equine Hospital in Easter Bush, as well as Westmorland Equine Vets, Church Walk Veterinary Centre, Alexander Veterinary Centre, and Preston & Bramley, all in Cumbria. In addition to her RCVS qualification, she has gained certification in both equine clinical nutrition and clinical small animal dentistry.