Meet the Doctor, Aysha Jilani, MD
Aysha Jilani, MD, is the Associate Program Director of Internal Medicine at Einstein Medical Center Montgomery and an internist at Einstein Physicians Norriton. She is board certified in internal medicine.
We spoke recently with Dr. Jilani about her career, her interests, and internal medicine at Einstein Healthcare Network.
Why did you decide to become a doctor?
I actually grew up wanting to be a veterinarian, but as is typical for those of us with an Indian or Pakistani background, my grandmother discouraged me from that and told me I should take care of humans rather than animals. It all definitely worked out well.
Tell us about your education background.
Despite being born and raised in Philadelphia, after doing a year of pre-med at Penn State I followed a less traditional route and went to Sindh Medical College in Karachi, Pakistan. My family had to move there to live with and take care of my grandmother. I graduated in 2003 and we moved back to this area after my grandmother passed away. I completed my residency in internal medicine at Einstein Medical Center Philadelphia in 2008.
Why did you choose your specialty?
I enjoy the cerebral aspect of the field. Growing up, I loved reading detective novels, and internal medicine reminds me of that, with the challenge of gathering information to come to a diagnosis. I also feel that it plays well into my personal strengths, such as being a good listener and being able to counsel people.
What are your clinical interests?
I really enjoy counseling patients on the importance of nutrition, fitness and stress management and its impact on health. I feel it is a great strength of mine as I have spent a lot of time on working on and researching these things for myself. I practice what I preach, as they say.
I also really enjoy working with the geriatric population and have learned a lot from having worked in a nursing home for a long time. I feel like an old soul sometimes, and I think I can really connect well with these patients. I enjoy the conversations we have.
What drew you to Einstein?
I’m not new to the health system. I had a great experience with my residency training at Einstein under Program Director Dr. Glenn Eiger. At this point in my life, I was searching for a job where I could work purely as a primary care physician, a bit of a change from the job I held for the last decade, in which I did hospital, primary care and nursing-home work.
I love being involved in educating residents, so I was very fortunate that Einstein had this position available, where I could serve as a primary care physician and also be a core member of a brand new internal medicine residency program here at Einstein Medical Center Montgomery. For the past six months, our practice has had residents rotating with us in our clinic, a very bright group of young doctors training for their future careers in internal medicine.
Why should people choose Einstein for their primary care?
I truly feel that we take the time to listen to patients and work with them in a partnership to manage their care. A patient actually commented to me the other day that she is amazed that there isn’t a single “big ego” here and was grateful that she feels “heard.”
What are your interests outside of work?
I love traveling and hiking and feel blessed to have gone to beautiful places such as Zion and Yosemite national parks, Peru and New Zealand. I’m also happy to be living in Pennsylvania, where we have access to so many wonderful hiking trails.
Who was an early role model for you?
Definitely my father, who raised me on his own until I was a teenager. I saw him face a lot of struggles and persevere. He also supported me in continuing my education.
What is your favorite book?
It’s really hard to pick one, but besides detective novels, I’m a big fan of the fantasy and sci-fi genre. Yes, I’m a certified geek!
What is your favorite movie?
The Lord of the Rings series. I think they did a great job of bringing those books to the big screen.
What is an interesting fact about you?
I have done ballroom dancing for many years and have even done showcases and competitions. No, I was not inspired by Dancing With the Stars. Believe it or not, I had actually never watched the show until a couple years after I started dancing.
Find out more about primary care at Einstein.