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Misbah Khan, MD, MPH, FAAP

photo of Misbah Khan

Affectionately known as the “infant doctor,” Dr. Misbah Khan’s career spans 33 years as a pediatrician, medical school teacher and researcher, health policy advisor, and medical director for numerous community health programs for Maryland’s most vulnerable adolescents and children. Dr. Khan has a particular commitment to reducing the unacceptable high infant mortality rate among minority populations, which she views as a barometer for how well our nation is meeting the needs of its citizens.

Dr. Khan has lit a bright pathway for two generations of medical students and pediatric residents to become primary care physicians during a time when medical specialists are often viewed by medical schools as a more prestigious career option, despite our society’s under supply of primary care doctors. Dr. Khan has established numerous community-based educational rotations for medical students in schools, juvenile institutions, shelters for teens and their babies, and residential facilities for disabled persons- opening up to medical students a world previously hidden by society’s prejudices. Hundreds of medical students, today’s physicians, are more knowledgeable about the network of human services for at-risk children and adolescents, and how to provide health services in coordination with human services.

Before the advent of managed care, Dr. Khan recognized the importance of outpatient and community health care. She had the vision to establish outpatient and community health services for children and adolescents over the past three decades. She also had the vision to take medical students with her into outpatient and community sites where she provided care and medical leadership, so that her students could learn that health care services often need to be provided in settings where people live and go to school. Today, her ideas on the importance of primary care and school-based health care are widely accepted by health professionals and society at large. Dr. Khan is a pioneer who has never stopped “pioneering” innovative and successful clinical and teaching models to benefit the life and health of infants, children and adolescents. Dr. Khan has an interest and expertise in international health, and shared many of her medical ideas and approaches with Pakistan, the nation of her birth.

Dr. Misbah Khan’s major research interests reflect her three-decade commitment to improving the lives of at-risk children and adolescents and to teaching future physicians and health professionals: 1) Follow up of high-risk infants after discharge from Intensive Care Nurseries; 2) School Health Services; 3) Child Abuse/Sexually Transmitted Disease in Young Children; 4) Primary Care Training for Pediatricians; 5) Health Care of Juveniles in Detention; and 6) Training Community Health Nurses. Also, Dr. Kahn has directed the Maryland High-Risk Infant Follow-up Demonstration Project sponsored by the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

One of her most proud accomplishments is her 33-year association with the Lawrence G. Paquin School for Pregnant and Parenting Adolescents. While Dr. Khan was director of a teen pregnancy health education program, she served on a group of education, health and social service professionals who recommended and subsequently developed the Paquin School, a unique and nationally recognized school model that is effectively meeting the health and educational needs of pregnant students and their babies.

Dr. Khan’s vision for our nation’s most vulnerable children is a beacon of light for them in a world otherwise filled with hopelessness. Her vision is so bright that it has spread throughout our state to the benefit of children, families and communities. Many of Maryland’s children in the last 33 years have grown up to be strong, productive and healthy citizens, because of Dr. Misbah Khan, the infant doctor.

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