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Hidden Gems: Meet Dr. Omar Akhter of Madina Medicine

Today we’d like to introduce you to Dr. Omar Akhter.

Hi Dr. Akhter, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I went through medical school and residency training to become an internist in a very conventional medical system. All of my experiences made me capable to taking care of sick patients in the hospital but I soon realized that my passion did not lie within this hospital system. I would usually have around 20 patients a day and only get to spend a few minutes with each patient daily with an emphasis on completing tasks, documenting notes and discharging patients as soon as possible. This just wouldn’t sit well with me.

When I moved to Austin 3 years ago, I decided to open up my own cash pay private practice where I would not be limited by insurance companies or any other entity in deciding how I can take care of my patients. I wanted to develop a strong doctor-patient relationship with my patients and give them enough time in their visits with me. I also wanted to use a holistic approach that incorporates diet and lifestyle into the healing of chronic disease as opposed to the pharmaceutical and procedure heavy approach that conventional medicine employs.

With this practice, I get joy every day to meet new people who are struggling with their illness and be the one physician who takes the time to hear them out and get to the root of their issue, rather than passing them off to the next specialist. I deal with patients of all varieties whether they have digestive, autoimmune, thyroid, or metabolic conditions. There’s really nothing I can’t treat. I spend 60-90 minutes with a new patient and 40 minutes for a follow up visit. Patients have complete price transparency so they know what they’re paying upfront and never get hidden bills later. Our medical system has become too fragmented and somewhere along the line patient care and experience was sacrificed for profits. I’m here to change that.

I really aim to be that one physician who can provide solutions and answers when nobody else is. I truly believe this is the future of healthcare and I’m happy to be on this boat sailing forward.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Of course in opening up a new practice, there are always challenges. I said goodbye to an excellent and fixed salary to build something from the ground up. As I was setting up my office, I did everything with my own hands, including assembling my desk, which I take great pride in. When you do something all by yourself, it means so much more.

Marketing has also been a challenge because when you’re a physician, you’re really not taught to be a shrewd marketer. However, when you’ve set up your own private practice, you become an entrepreneur overnight and now wear many hats. I think my biggest interest is to get the word of this practice out to as many people as possible so they know they have better options for their medical care. A lot of people don’t even know that a holistic approach is possible, that’s how ingrained in this conventional system they have become.

I work with only one medical assistant so every part of this practice is very personal and not corporate. I don’t even have a waiting room!

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about Madina Medicine?
My medical practice is called Madina Medicine. I am a board-certified Internist and practice a more holistic and integrative type of medicine where I can incorporate important aspects of diet and lifestyle into my care which is so important when it comes to patients dealing with chronic disease. Often the answer lies in our nutrition and lifestyle before we need to jump to a medication.

I see patients 12 years and older in this Integrative medicine capacity. I see all types of illnesses including Diabetes, Hypothyroidism, Hashimoto’s, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Depression/Anxiety, Digestive issues, etc. and I love the fact that I can manage a patient from head to toe and not be limited to a particular specialty or organ system.

What sets me apart is that I truly listen to my patients in an environment that promotes their healing and doesn’t rush them. I also always ask the question “why”, because I want to get to the root issue of my patient’s chronic disease. Why it is happening is often the most important issue and hardly gets addressed in our conventional system. I use natural remedies and supplements as much as possible before jumping to a pharmaceutical medication. I am able to blend the best of eastern and western medical approaches.

I see patients in the office but also have the option to see patients virtually all around Texas. I’ve worked hard on making the patient experience as smooth as possible. I have a cash pay practice so I don’t bill any insurance. This frees me from any time constraints or other limitations. I also offer my patients wholesale lab prices which means they are heavily discounted.

What matters most to you?
People’s health matters to me most. This includes the physical and mental health of my patients most immediately but also includes their spiritual health and the health of the wider community. Collectively all of us face so many challenges in the human experience and it makes it so satisfying when I can impact someone’s life positively whether that is in a medical capacity or otherwise. That was the basic reason I got into medicine and I haven’t forgotten it to this day – helping patients and uplifting society.

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