You made have heard of the theory of six degrees of separation. It postulates that any two people are no more than six acquaintances away from each other. As in a friend of a friend of a friend of a friend and so on can connect any two people in the world. Another version is the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon – making the same concept fit actors in relationship to the prolific actor famous for appearing in Footloose and Apollo 13 among many other movies.
Dr. Ahmad Ali made a connection between his mother and VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital (CMH) in just three steps. His mother, Janie Ali, lives in Kenbridge and she had a fall and ended up at VCU Health CMH’s Family Care and was seen by Teresa Parham, a nurse practitioner, who in the course of conversation found out about Janie’s son, Dr. Ali.
Teresa told Jamie Berry, a practice manager with VCU Health CMH, and Jamie contacted Dr. Ali about an open position with the Family Care Practice – just three degrees of separation. Dr. Ali was looking for a position closer to his mother and liked what he has found with VCU Health CMH as a family medicine doctor.
“I have spent the past 22 years in Edenton, NC working six and seven days a week,” he said. “I have found the Family Practice very different. There is so much support here, with other providers within the practice, nursing staff, support staff and the support of the entire hospital behind the practice.”
Dr. Ali was a sole practitioner for the past seven years after his partner at Family Medicine of Edenton passed away. On top of being the sole provider in that practice, Dr. Ali also spent many weekends and holidays working in the emergency department at Chowan Hospital and also serving as medical director of the Chowan River Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. He said he was finding it increasingly difficult to manage the workload. “It was easier when I was younger, I loved the work but it was very hard physically,” he said with a wry smile. “But I wanted to be closer to my mom to help take care of her.”
Dr. Ali was born in Raleigh and has family in Raleigh and Greensboro as well as his mom in Lunenburg. Dr. Ali did his undergraduate work at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, graduating with a degree in biology in 1987. He then went to Medical School at UNC Chapel Hill, graduating in 1993. Dr. Ali has medical roots to the Medical College of Virginia, aka - VCU Health School of Medicine. Dr. Ali spent one year at MCV for his internship. Following his internship, Dr. Ali did his residency at Blackstone Family Practice from 1994 through 1996. That residency was also associated with the Medical College of Virginia.
Dr. Ali was pulled toward the medical field from an early age.“I always had an interest in biology and I don’t like seeing people suffer,” he said. His preferred method of interacting with his patients is to listen to them. “I let the patients talk,” he said. “It gives you an idea of what they need.”
Dr. Ali is particularly proud of his two daughters, Amelia, a student at UNC, and Abigail who will soon be a high school graduate and then will be attending North Carolina State. Dr. Ali said it will be interesting having split allegiances with NC State and UNC in the house.
Dr. Ali is accepting new patients at VCU Health CMH’s Family Practice. To make an appointment please call (434) 584-2273.