UAMS Oncologist Invested in Inaugural Omar T. Atiq, M.D., MACP, Distinguished Chair in Physician Leadership

By Andrew Vogler

Atiq is a medical oncologist at the UAMS Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute and a distinguished professor in the UAMS College of Medicine’s Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Hematology and Oncology. He is also the founding director of the Arkansas Cancer Institute in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. Further, he served as the medical director of the Cancer Treatment Program and chief of staff at the Jefferson Regional Medical Center in Pine Bluff.

“I like to extend my sincere congratulations to Dr. Omar Atiq on this honor. Thank you for your service to your patients, UAMS and the people of our state,” said Cam Patterson, M.D., MBA, UAMS chancellor and CEO of UAMS Health.

An endowed chair is among the highest academic honors a university can bestow on a faculty member. A distinguished chair is established with gifts of at least $1.5 million, which are invested and the interest proceeds used to support the educational, research and clinical activities of the chair holder. Those named to a chair are among the most highly regarded scientists, physicians and professors in their fields.

“I’m always happy to talk about why endowed chairs are so important to the College of Medicine. Having been an endowed chair holder, I can fully attest that these endowed chairs have a profound impact on our faculty, and in turn, our learners and our patients,” said Steven Webber, M.D., dean of the College of Medicine and UAMS executive vice chancellor. “Here in Arkansas, citizens across the state ultimately benefit from the gifts that create endowments, and from the service of those who hold endowed chairs.”

The chair was established through a gift from Scott McGeorge of White Hall, Arkansas. McGeorge made the gift in gratitude for the exceptional oncological care that was provided by Atiq and his team at the UAMS Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute. Moreover, McGeorge hopes that his chair will advance research, education and clinical care in hematology and oncology in perpetuity.

“I am deeply grateful to Scott McGeorge, my friend and patient, whose exceptional generosity in endowing this chair in my name is an immense honor. The relationship between a patient and a physician is profoundly sacred extending beyond medical treatment in the realm of deep personal trust and respect, and Scott McGeorge exemplifies this sacred bond,” said Atiq.

The chair was elevated to a distinguished chair through a gift from the Atiq family to UAMS, allowing for an increase in available funding to future Arkansas physician leaders, commemorating Atiq’s exceptional professional and public service to the people of Arkansas.

“Though today may mark a professional milestone, the essence of today, the true measure of the journey can be found in the relationships nurtured along the way,” said Atiq. “It is with profound gratitude, immense humility and heartfelt sincerity that I take this moment to acknowledge the real foundation of my life — to my amazing wife, Mehreen, whose unwavering support and boundless love are the foundation upon which I stand strong, and to our incredible children. I also want to acknowledge my hero, my father, whose resilience and generosity have taught me more about life than any text or teacher ever could.”

Atiq received his medical degree from the Khyber Medical College, University of Peshawar, Pakistan, where he was awarded the Distinguished Alumnus Award in honor and recognition of his significant contributions to society and the accomplishments that credit to the college. He completed his residency in internal medicine at the Edward Hines Jr. Veterans Administration Hospital and Foster G. McGaw Hospital of Loyola University in Chicago, where he was chief resident. He completed a fellowship in medical oncology and hematology at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York.

Atiq is the immediate past president of the American College of Physicians (ACP), the largest medical specialty organization in the United States. He is the first Arkansan elected to that office. He has received a Mastership in ACP, which recognizes outstanding and extraordinary career accomplishments. He has served as chair of the ACP Board of Governors, on its Board of Regents and as chair of its Health and Public Policy Committee. Atiq has also served as the president, speaker and chairman of the board for the Arkansas Medical Society. He has served on the Arkansas State Medical Board and is commissioner emeritus of the Arkansas Tobacco Settlement Commission. He was a member of the Arkansas Racial Profiling Taskforce and the National Lung Cancer Roundtable. Atiq has also served as president of the Association of Physicians of Pakistani Descent of North America (APPNA). He is the recipient of the APPNA Gold Medal and the APPNA.

“Having known Omar all my life, I am always amazed at his infectious boundless energy with which he lifts those around him — he does so with compassion, forgiveness, humility and kindness that defines Omar’s personality,” said Nasim Ashraf, M.D., FACP, former minister of state for human development for the Government of Pakistan and chairman of the Pakistan National Commission for Human Development. “It is an innate human attribute that we want to have mattered and to leave a legacy of a lasting contribution, but to achieve that, requires sacrifice and a lifelong sense of devotion to the mission of service. Dr Atiq’s highly distinguished career testifies to such lifelong service.”

UAMS is the state’s only health sciences university, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; a hospital; a main campus in Little Rock; a Northwest Arkansas regional campus in Fayetteville; a statewide network of regional campuses; and eight institutes: the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, Psychiatric Research Institute, Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging, Translational Research Institute, Institute for Digital Health & Innovation and the Institute for Community Health Innovation. UAMS includes UAMS Health, a statewide health system that encompasses all of UAMS’ clinical enterprise. UAMS is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. UAMS has 3,275 students, 890 medical residents and fellows, and five dental residents. It is the state’s largest public employer with more than 12,000 employees, including 1,200 physicians who provide care to patients at UAMS, its regional campuses, Arkansas Children’s, the VA Medical Center and Baptist Health. Visit or Find us on Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), YouTube or Instagram.