Getting to Know: Dr. Ahmad Azari

Since completing his OB/GYN residency at Vanderbilt University, Dr. Ahmad Azari has been performing and teaching advanced minimally invasive gynecology surgery and breast cancer treatment in Memphis. In 2011, he performed the region’s first single-incision laparoscopy hysterectomy surgery, and in 2013 his practice was recognized as Tennessee’s first “Center of Excellence for Minimally Invasive Gynecology Surgery.”

Hometown: Atlanta, GA
Family: Wife, Laleh, who is a clinical pharmacist, and 3-year-old daughter Ava
Education: Medical school: Tehran University of Medical Sciences; Residency in OB/GYN: Vanderbilt University; Fellowship in minimally invasive robotic gynecology surgery: Vanderbilt University; Fellowship in breast cancer: University of Michigan
American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology, American Medical Association, American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopy, Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons, FC-Barcelona Football Club
Specialty: Gynecology, Minimally Invasive Robotic Surgery

Why did you choose this specialty?

I have had a huge amount of passion for advanced minimally invasive surgery since my first exposure to this kind of procedure in medical school. Additionally, encouragement by mentors during medical school and my residency led me to choose this sub-specialty.

What do you enjoy most about your specialty?

Performing advanced minimally invasive surgery for complex pathology through just a small skin incision at umbilicus with minimal to non-cosmetic effect, significant reduction of postoperative pain and faster recovery period compared to traditional surgery.

Most patients can be discharged on the same or next day after surgery, which really is rewarding. My practice is known as the region’s only GYN surgery practice with a main focus on single-incision laparoscopy gynecology surgery.

What made you decide to join Baptist?

Great potential to build a cutting edge practice focused on advanced minimally invasive gynecology surgery.

What are some of the future benefits you look forward to from working with Baptist?

Providing infrastructure and fundamental elements to develop and expand technologically advanced minimally invasive robotic gynecology surgery in the Memphis community.

What do you enjoy doing outside of your job?

Spending quality time with my family, traveling, soccer, and the Internet

Who or what inspired you to pursue a medical degree?

My father. My family members and I have strong mathematical and engineering backgrounds. Mathematical subjects were my main field of study as a high school and undergraduate student. However, my father suggested I consider a career in the medical field, so I began studying medicine.

What is a highlight of your career?

To have the privilege of operating on other human beings who trust me and know their lives depend on my competency. This is priceless. This is always pushing me to do my best for my patients.

Also to me, time, including my patients’ time, is another priceless element in our lives. Therefore, I have always tried to keep my patients’ waiting time (in office, administrative- related items, etc.) as minimal as possible.

Lastly, being endorsed by the American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists and other prestigious societies for my success in minimally invasive gynecology surgery is a career highlight.

Where has your career taken you in terms of cities and states?

Moving to the United States form Iran (to have the best education), Nashville, Tenn.; Atlanta; Ann Arbor, Mich.; and Memphis, Tenn. I also have presented many lectures about minimally invasive surgery in the United States and Europe.

What would you like your Baptist colleagues to know about you?

I believe practicing medicine, particularly performing surgical procedures, is a privilege rather than a job. Providing surgical services that have been deemed “excellent” is a must and requires having administration, colleagues, resources, hospital, etc., as part of a team.