Scripps physician becomes first Asian American woman to win Outstanding Clinician Award from ATS

Dr. Shazia Jamil
(Copyright of Dr. Shazia Jamil)

Dr. Shazia M. Jamil, a physician and professor of medicine at Scripps Clinic and UC San Diego, became the first Asian American woman to receive the Outstanding Clinician Award from the American Thoracic Society.

“I would say very humble and speechless, even now,” Jamil, who lives in Rancho Santa Fe, said of her reaction to receiving the award. “As a physician, that’s the most prestigious award. There’s no other award on top of that.”

Each year the award goes to a pulmonary, critical care or sleep clinician who spends 75% or more of their time providing direct patient care, according to the American Thoracic Society’s website. The recipient, who is nominated by their colleagues, is selected based on their contributions in the clinical care of patients with lung disease.

Jamil, who grew up in Pakistan and has been at Scripps for 20 years, is the fourth woman overall to receive the ATS Outstanding Clinician Award since it was established in 2003. She said she’s a “multispecialist” who practices as an intensive care unit physician, pulmonologist and sleep medicine specialist.

“I like to take care of critically ill patients with life-threatening illnesses,” Jamil said. “I’ve always wanted to do so throughout my career and as a medical student. That’s how I pursued it. I’m especially interested in lung infections, pulmonary embolism — which in layman’s terms is lung clots — and also sleep disorders as outpatient. What I do is a little bit complicated. Many physicians either work inpatient or outpatient. I do both.”

After arriving in Southern California at age 24, having received her medical degree from Aga Khan Medical School in Pakistan, Jamil completed her residency at the University of Southern California. She also completed a pulmonary critical care fellowship, a molecular cell biology post-doctoral fellowship, and sleep medicine training at UCSD. She has lived in San Diego since 1997.

Jamil’s work over the past 15 years has included developing clinical programs, curricula, and hands-on-skills sessions designed to “bridge the knowledge gap between community and academic clinicians in the hope of providing evidence-based medical care to all patients.” She has also created protocols for management of complex liver, transplant, and COVID-19 patients.

Jamil also started the Circadian Rhythm Sleep Disorders Clinic. In addition, she founded the San Diego Pulmonary, Critical Care, Sleep Medicine Conference, attended by academic and private physicians. Her work with the American Thoracic Society has also included chairing the sleep core curriculum as a member of its Education Committee, as well as chairing the California Thoracic Society’s Education Committee.