S. Akbar Husain, '21 Alum

West Bloomfield, Michigan
High School
Internal medicine
Medical resident in Brown University's internal medicine program in Providence, Rhode Island
College of Medicine
May 2021
Akbar Husain

  • Hometown: West Bloomfield, Michigan
  • Specialization: Internal medicine
  • College: CMU College of Medicine
  • Graduated: May 2021
  • Job Title: Medical resident in Brown University's internal medicine program in Providence, Rhode Island

There's no single reason S. Akbar Husain wants to dedicate his future to helping others.

But the son of Pakistani immigrants has a special empathy for the challenges people face in difficult circumstances. Husain's father worked his way through medical school after being displaced from his homeland, moving to Canada and then Michigan.

Following his example, Husain graduated May 7 from Central Michigan University's College of Medicine. In June, he begins his three-year internal medical residency at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island.

After that, his commitment to the underserved via his National Health Services Corps Scholarship could lead him anywhere in the country. Wherever he goes, he will be needed.

The highly competitive NHSC program is a rare full-tuition scholarship awarded to about 60 medical students in primary care fields each year. Awardees commit to serving in a high-need area of the U.S. after residency.

An educational journey

Growing up in the Detroit suburb of West Bloomfield, Husain first considered teaching as he pursued his undergraduate education.

He spent four years teaching career and college readiness to at-risk youth in Detroit public schools. As he delivered lessons in STEM and anatomy, he also saw medical needs and struggles for proper care in his students and their families.

"I got such an insight into what a lot of families have to deal with," he said. "It became clear that so much of medicine is education. I realized I could still be an educator and practice medicine."

Caring for the long haul

CMU's medical mission to reach underserved areas of Michigan caught Husain's attention as he considered medical schools. Learning about CMU's signature Comprehensive Clinical Clerkship program clinched his decision.

At most colleges of medicine, clinical rotations are four to eight weeks long. The CMU College of Medicine's unique curriculum includes a 24-week longitudinal clerkship in primary care. Embedding a students in rural or urban underserved communities provides a comprehensive experience that emphasizes caring for a community over a longer term.

Husain served his clerkship at Ascension St. John Hospital in Detroit.

"It gave me a real opportunity to share a connection with patients," he said. "You get to have a different impact when you're seeing patients for the third or fourth time.

After residency, Husain will be able to apply for positions anywhere in the country where a doctor is needed. He hopes eventually to practice primary care in his native state.

"Michigan's my home," he said. "I am definitely leaning that way."