Omar Atiq, M.D., a medical oncologist specializing in head and neck cancers at the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute at UAMS in Little Rock, is now president-elect of the American College of Physicians (ACP), the largest medical specialty organization in the United States.
A professor in the UAMS College of Medicine’s Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Hematology and Oncology, Atiq is the first Arkansan to be elected to the position. His election was announced Jan. 14, after he was nominated last fall by the ACP Governance Committee and endorsed by the ACP Board of Regents. His new title will take effect at the conclusion of the organization’s annual business meeting in Chicago on April 30. Atiq will then assume leadership of the organization of internists, which has 161,000 members worldwide, in 2023.
“Dr. Atiq will provide exceptional leadership for the ACP and internal medicine physicians across the country, just as he has done in previous ACP roles on initiatives to address health disparities and other vital issues,” said Dr. Susan S. Smyth, executive vice chancellor of UAMS and dean of the College of Medicine. “Omar embodies the ideals of our profession, and all of us at UAMS are honored to have him as a colleague.”
Atiq received his medical degree from the Khyber Medical College, University of Peshawar, Pakistan, and completed his residency and chief residency in internal medicine at the Edward Hines Jr. Veterans Administration Hospital and Foster G. McGaw Hospital of Loyola University in Chicago. He completed his fellowship training in medical oncology and hematology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York.
“Dr. Atiq is an outstanding physician and friend,” said Dr. John Dornhoffer, chairman of the UAMS College of Medicine Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, where Atiq also teaches. “He has been an exemplary leader both at UAMS and for the state of Arkansas. He will be an outstanding president of American College of Physicians, and I am very proud of him.”
Atiq is a past president, speaker of the house and chairman of the board of the Arkansas Medical Society. He made news in 2021 when he erased the outstanding debts of nearly 200 former patients of the cancer treatment center he founded in Pine Bluff.