19 Sep 2016 IMU Alumnus is one of Asia 21’s Class of Young Leaders 2016
An IMU medical alumnus, Dr Avinesh Singh Bhar, is one of Asia 21’s Class of Young Leaders 2016, a group of remarkable leaders focused on shaping a brighter future for the Asia-Pacific region. Dr Bhar, a Malaysian, and 31 other rising professionals from 23 countries had to go through a highly competitive selection process which was based on outstanding achievement, commitment to public service, and a proven ability to make the world a better place. One of the notable alumni of this network of young leaders from Malaysia is Minister for Youth and Sports Khairy Jamaluddin,
“I am humbled by this opportunity. Looking at the contributions of the other candidates, I feel completely out of place. But I have always believed that if you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room. With that philosophy, I hope to grow on a personal level and to contribute to the Asia Pacific region.”
Dr Bhar is currently a faculty member at Mercer University. He is also pursuing his MBA with the University of Chicago (Booth School of Business) while building his career as a pulmonary, critical care and sleep physician.
His career in medicine started when he graduated with a MBBS from IMU in 2005 and moved to New York City to start his residency training in Internal Medicine. In order to do that, he had to sit for his United States Medical Licensing Exams (USMLEs) prior to getting residency position.
“I chose to pursue my residency in Internal Medicine at the New York Hospital of Queens in New York City, which took 3 years. During the second half of residency, I applied for a fellowship spot in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine. I received and attended several interviews and got accepted to the University of Tennessee in Memphis, this took another 3 years. I then applied for another fellowship in Sleep Medicine at Washington University in St Louis, thankfully this lasted only 1 year. Following each block of training, I sat for and passed my board exams in each field.”
Speaking on the reason he decided to do a fellowship in Sleep Medicine, Dr Bhar said, “After completing my fellowship in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at the University of Tennesee in Memphis I spoke with my mentor and programme director, Dr Muthiah, who felt that sleep medicine would broaden my horizon as a physician. In addition, pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine complement each other very well. I had also completed a month long elective rotation in sleep medicine during my pulmonary fellowship which I found interesting and eye opening.”
Recalling fondly of his time in IMU, Dr Bhar said, “My 2 years in IMU Seremban were special to me. The presence of supportive seniors, a collegial environment and great minds such as Dato Kandasami, Dato Siva (OBGYN), Prof Ramesh Jutti, Dr Xavier, and Dato Kew, helped cement my clinical years as outstanding years in my career. As an icing to top it off, I was part of the inaugural Malaysian delegation (and first full medical delegation) to the Harvard World Model United Nations Conference in 2003. So many great memories.” He also felt that a strong grounding in medicine and independent learning that he gained while studying in IMU was instrumental to the success of his career in the US
His advice to those who wish to work as doctors in the US is “Follow your passion and always be curious. Between any 2 options in life, pick the one you are most likely going to regret not picking down the road.”