NEWBURYPORT — Dr. Saira Naseer-Ghiasuddin, an internist with an office on Green Street and patient privileges at Anna Jaques Hospital, has come a long way from her home in Lahore, Pakistan.
But the energetic physician would have it known that despite the occasional harrowing headline, Pakistan is a nation where girls and women have many opportunities to pursue their dreams.
“In most (modern) cities, boys and girls are equal when it comes to education and opportunity,” said Naseer-Ghiasuddin, who came to this country in 1992.
“Maybe it’s the luck of the draw, but my parents wanted nothing less than a master’s degree (from me and my brother). I studied, traveled frequently with my father and eventually made the choice to come to the U.S.”
It appears the ambitious young students took advantage of all opportunities.
Naseer-Ghiasuddin, 49, came to this country for post-graduate medical study, and her brother is now an engineer in Texas.
She had graduated from Allama Iqbal Medical College in Lahore. As the daughter in a prosperous family whose father was a successful engineer, she sought challenge and a stable future.
In Pakistan she married Dr. Salman Ghiasuddin, who was also studying to be a doctor. Both did their post-graduate study in New York and Boston before settling in this community.
Today he is board certified in cardiovascular disease, nuclear medicine, endovascular medicine and interventional cardiology.
Naseer-Ghiasuddin said the specific reason for coming to the U.S. was that medical schools here were offering programs in advanced study that Lahore institutions were not.
“My husband and I were both interested in going into medical specialties,” recalled the doctor, who is affiliated with North Shore Internal Medicine.
“I wanted London; he wanted the U.S. He thought that over the years, America would offer a stable future. He’s a pretty smart guy.”