The ProspectiveDoctor Podcast

Global Health and Family Medicine with Dr. Annie Khan

Dr. Qiratulanne “Annie” Khan discusses family medicine, her volunteer work through the World Health Organization in rural South Asia, and the psychosomatic effects of untreated anxiety and depression.

  • [01:26] Why Annie Chose Family Medicine
  • [11:24] Disparities in Health Care in the US
  • [15:00] Impostor Syndrome
  • [22:02] Being a Doctor at John Muir
  • [26:37] Men’s Health and Untreated Anxiety and Depression
  • [33:22] Annie’s Advice to Pre-meds and Medical Students

Dr. Erkeda DeRouen talks to Dr. Qiratulanne “Annie” Khan, DO. Dr. Khan is a board-certified family physician. She completed her residency in Family Medicine at Boston Medical Centre and a 2-year fellowship in Global Health through the UCSF/HEAL Initiative. Dr. Khan earned her MPH at UC Berkeley and is currently living in the San Francisco Bay Area where she works for John Muir Health in the urgent care clinic and respiratory clinic.

Why Annie Chose Family Medicine

Dr. Khan has always had an interest in science and medicine and loved being around people. Her roots in Global Health and Family Medicine began when she was volunteering through the WHO in the rural villages of Pakistan and Afghanistan. Her role in these areas was targeted at education, particularly women’s health and reproductive health.

Annie’s experiences abroad helped her develop a deep appreciation for medicine. Despite all the privileges she grew up with, She thought it very important to understand things from the perspective of less privileged people and communities. She believes that the perspective that she fostered in these South Asian communities enables her to be a better physician.

Following her volunteer work in rural South Asia, Annie went to med school and matched into a residency. She then pursued Global Health again during fellowship and traveled to India to work for a rural NGO. her work there included training 5 family medicine residents.

Family medicine is a broad field that can be vastly different on different continents. In places where resources are scarce, it is imperative that physicians can tap into all the knowledge they gained in medical school and in residency and make it applicable in all situations and for all people.

Combating impostor syndrome

Medicine is a field in which impostor syndrome is pervasive. Dr. Khan fought her most fierce battles with impostor syndrome in the underserved areas in which she volunteered. She learned to contend with her “savior-complex” and developed an ability to appreciate palliative care.

Dr. Khan used the knowledge from her residency and learned to apply it with the skills she had developed through practicing medicine. She also grew into the confidence that is necessary when making difficult decisions without feeling defeated or second-guessing her judgment.

Men’s health

Culturally, men have very little experience talking about stress, anxiety, and depression. These issues, when left untreated, affect your physiology. Anxiety and depression are often the root cause of a lot of issues, especially when it comes to men’s health.

Annie’s Advice to Pre-Meds and Medical Students

Annie contends that while Getting good grades are important, they are not the most important. There are many opportunities to get into medical school and Annie urges that gaining life experience before medical school will be an advantage.

Annie started at medical school at 28 and believes her experience prior to her training allowed her to understand why she wanted to be a doctor and pursue community health.

“Do your best, make good friends, find good study groups and get help. Never be ashamed to ask for help.” Hard work goes a long way and if you hone in your passions and pursue something you truly love, you will inevitably do well.

You can get in touch with Dr. Annie Khan on her personal email at [email protected]

Erkeda DeRouen

Dr. Erkeda DeRouen is a graduate of Hampton University with a B.S. in Biological Sciences, followed by completing medical school at the Boston University School of Medicine. She then completed residency at The University of Maryland Family and Community Medicine Program. After that, she worked at an underserved community health center, and currently is an Associate Medical Director of a telemedicine company. She recently became one of the first 1,000 lifestyle medicine certified physicians in the world! Her areas of interest include: health equity and eliminating health disparities, service of underserved populations, HIV management, transgender care, mentorship, and lifestyle medicine.

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