CHICAGO – With more than 6 million hours of video lessons viewed online, Muslim medicine professor Hussain Sattar has become a celebrity for medical students in the US and across the world.
“He has a remarkable gift for clarity,” said Palmer Greene, a third-year student at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, The Forefront reported.
“He can take the pathophysiology of any organ system and present the information in a way that makes the entire mechanism click in your head.”
Lucy Rubin, a fourth-year at Tufts University School of Medicine, has similar praise: “He has this amazing way of explaining concepts,” she said. “He simplifies things to the most basic elements.”
At the University of Chicago, Dr. Sattar earned his undergraduate and medical degrees and later did his internship, residency, and fellowship.
Sattar completed his residency at the University of Chicago Medicine, eventually joining the faculty as a surgical pathologist specializing in breast pathology. He is associate director of Clinical Pathophysiology and Therapeutics, a second-year course at Pritzker.
In 2010, he decided to try out the teaching techniques of a Pakistani teacher back home in Islamabad, who used to give lessons without preparing notes.
He asked Dean Holly Humphrey, MD’83, if he could teach an elective course for Pritzker students preparing for Step 1. In this first course, 90 students signed up, triple the number he expected.
“I was teaching it the way I felt pathology should be taught, just me sitting and chatting with the students, no notes, nothing,” he said.
“Just me talking about how I think about different principles of pathology and how I tie different basic science principles in with disease states. It’s about memorizing less and understanding more.”
Since 2011, more than 6 million hours of video lessons have been viewed online through the portal on pathoma.com. Students from all over the country and the world praise it on message boards, blogs and in social media.
He has earned a number of teaching honors, including Outstanding Basic Science Teaching and Favorite Faculty awards, and became a top-ranked instructor for Kaplan Medical, where he taught review courses for the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) Step 1.
Enjoying daily fan mail, autograph requests, personalized apparel, and an entry on Urban Dictionary, Dr. Sattar continues to feel grateful for the influence of that Pakistani teacher back in Islamabad at the bottom of the snowcapped Himalayas.
“I like to think a few months of sitting there, on that dirt floor, has now affected tens of thousands of medical students.”