GREENSBURG – In 1992, there were 6.2 million diabetics in the United States; in 2013, that number has ballooned to 26.5 million.
Decatur County Memorial Hospital (DCMH) Endocrinologist Dr. Shahab Zaidi, MD F.A.C.E. offered those startling numbers last week when he sat down with the Daily News to introduce himself to the community.
Zaidi’s first day at DCMH was June 26.
He joins DCMH following 19 years of practice in Indianapolis where he worked in endocrinology at St. Vincent’s Hospital. He was also chairman of the Hospital’s Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism for two years.
Originally from Karachi, Pakistan, Zaidi first came to the United States in 1984. He’d already earned his medical degree and had completed an internship in his home country when he decided to continue his training here.
“America is the promised land,” he said. “In Pakistan, there was a limit as to how much I could grow and advance as a doctor. To expand your horizons, you had to go elsewhere. Post-graduate medical training simply isn’t available where I grew up. This country gave me the opportunity to grow both intellectually and financially. I owe everything to this country.”
Once in the United States, Zaidi would spend five years in Michigan completing his medical training at both Hurley Medical Center in Flint and the Wayne State University School of Medicine. He finished in 1992.
Endocrinology, Zaidi explained, deals with any kind of hormonal disorder. As such, in addition to his diabetes-related work, Zaidi also treats patients for obesity, hypo- and hyperthyroidism, dyslipidemia, hypertension, adrenal disorders, metabolic bone disease and osteoporosis, and pituitary disorders.
As with the field of Endocrinology itself, however, Zaidi’s session with the Daily News was dominated by diabetes.
“Diabetes is the bread and butter of any endocrinology practice,” he said. “Unless you’re in a practice with a research-intensive focus or, sometimes, at a teaching hospital, the treatment of diabetes will be a major focus.”