Why did you join AAOS?
The AAOS has established itself as the premier professional organization among orthopaedic surgeons. I consider it a privilege to practice orthopaedic surgery, and the AAOS has provided me with seemingly limitless resources to be a better surgeon, a better clinician, and mentor.
How do you define success?
Like many things, it’s all relative. At times, success can be concrete or debatable, but ultimately, it’s at the discretion of the evaluator. Completion of a “check box” item can be considered a success, but I’ve found success even in my failures and misfortunes. To me, success isn’t simply arriving at a destination, rather, it’s embracing the person I’ve become throughout the journey.
Who is your biggest inspiration and why?
My biggest inspirations came at different stages of my life. Growing up, my dear parents, Khan and Robaba Noorzad were my biggest inspiration. With nothing more than hope and two suitcases, they arrived to the United States by way of Afghanistan as refugees. For as far back as I can remember, they each worked six days a week, twelve hours a day to support my siblings and me. Everything I’ve learned about sacrifice and discipline; I’ve learned from my parents. My lovely wife Salma is the hardest working, caring and most selfless person I know. She’s my litmus test for how hard I work, and she’s believed in me when I’ve doubted myself. My two little mini-me’s, Zara and Sami Dean are undoubtedly my life’s greatest blessings. They are my inspiration for every goal I’ve set to achieve, and I can only hope to become something they’ll be proud of.
And finally, to the surgeons who have mentored me throughout my journey: Dr. Bashir Zikria, my long-time mentor, inspired me to go into orthopaedic surgery and became my professional target of emulation; and to the best orthopaedic surgeons in the country, the orthopaedic surgeons of Cedars-Sinai—who matched me as a Resident, who welcomed me into their operating rooms, who continue to inspire daily, and who have continued to equip me with the tools and wisdom to provide for my future patients. I am forever grateful and indebted.
What do you love most about AAOS?
From a social standpoint, I’ve really learned to appreciate the sense of community among the AAOS Members who are all respectively in various stages of their professional career. From an objective standpoint, I’ve yet to find an organization that offers as many academic resources as the AAOS; it is second to none.
What advice would you give to new members of AAOS?
To new members of the AAOS, my best advice is to maximize the resources available through the AAOS online site: journal articles, topic review articles, question banks, video library—use it early, and use it all.
Tell us a fun fact about yourself that not many people know?
Once upon a time, I played basketball for the Olympic National Basketball Team of Afghanistan and recorded the country’s first ever Gold Medal in a team event in the 2010 South Asian Olympics.