March 2014 \ Interviews \ Community Doctor
“I work to make a difference to the community”

Dr Amarjit Singh, Emergency Physician, Chicago

  • Dr. Amarjit Singh receiving The Asian American Humanitarian Award 2013 and lifetime volunteer service medal of honour by Asian Chronicle USA

 It is no shocker that medical doctors of Indian origin are a brand in the United States because of their outstanding professional credentials. Dr. Amarjit Singh, a medical doctor, however, has gone a step further—he has made a difference by volunteering actively in providing services to various medical organisations, the Asian-American community, and the local community at large.

He was born to parents of Indian origin settled in Burma who later moved to India. In 1977, Dr Singh completed his graduation in medicine from the Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi, India. After his medical degree Dr. Singh worked in Zambia, Africa and the United Kingdom prior to immigrating to the United States where he settled in Chicago. Over the past 20 years Dr. Singh has worked at the Cook County Hospital and St. Bernard Hospital and currently is a physician in the Emergency Department of Mount Sinai Hospital and Level 1 Trauma Centre in Chicago.

Dr Singh has a long list of accomplishments in his career spanning 36 years. Naming a few, he has served as the President of IAMA in 2005 and has been the membership Chair of AAEMI. He was also the Chairman of Punjabi Cultural Society of Chicago in the year 2011 and 2012. He has been a regular volunteer physician at the Sikh Religious Society community centre in Palatine, Illinois and IAMA charitable clinic, Chicago where he provides free medical services and consultations to the deprived patients over weekends. Acknowledging his work, he was honoured with The Asian American Humanitarian Award 2013 and lifetime volunteer service medal of honour by Asian Chronicle USA in November 2013.

He is one of the many Non- Resident Indians making India celebrated all across the globe. Dr Amarjit Singh talks to India Empire about his work and accomplishments

You completed your education in New Delhi, India and later moved to Chicago. What is the difference in the education system of India and the United States?

I have been in Chicago since 1979, so I am sure that the education system has changed a lot in India ever since. With internet, Google and other technological advancements are freely available now but these were non-existent back then. Other than that the main difference is - in US you have to be self motivated to study and learn because of so many distractions in daily life. While in India we were motivated by desire to elevate our situation, desire to get a good job, go abroad, help your family financially or make your 'khandan' and family proud. Also, in US exams are multiple choices but in India the format is different, it is a long paragraph answering style. So, memorising was the norm.

You have been practising medicine in Chicago, How different is it from India?

In India there are no medical records, no confidentiality and no standard of care. Every doctor in India may be a MD, homeopath, unani, vaid or homeopath and practice medicine in their own way as there is no medical society monitoring the standards and quality of services. It is much regulated here, every bad outcome is peer reviewed and since everything is under regulation, it drives you to excel in practice. The fear of malpractice also forces you to give your best as even a little negligence is fined here and can bankrupt a family finances.

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