Muslim doctor treats patients during Ramadan and COVID-19 pandemic


When it comes to practicing medicine during Ramadan, Dr. Ahsan Khan has found renewed strength in spite of the coronavirus outbreak, both physical and mental.  

His physical strength was on full display one recent weekday morning as he stopped at a Dunkin’ Donuts in Orange County to order a mixed dozen. 

“I am a big donut guy,” Khan, who works as an ophthalmologist for Kaiser Permanente, said. “[I] won’t be able to partake in these donuts given the fasting. But, you know, I think the spirit of Ramadan also is to be in a giving mood.” 

Khan picked the pastries up for his coworkers. They’re fellow doctors, nurses and technicians who, as essential workers, continue to see patients. 

Dr. Ahsan Khan (left) during a medical trip to Central America. Photo courtesy of Dr. Khan.

But it is the mental strength, Khan said, that has really paid off at a time when the entire globe grapples with this pandemic.

“With Ramadan, I kind of feel like I'm equipped with some immunity to anxiety, because this is what we do every year. We kind of go through these struggles.” Khan said. 

He belongs to the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, a sect of Islam. 

“I find that I'm able to cope with COVID19 a little bit more because my focus is more on Ramadan,” he said.

Khan shared his daily routine, from commuting and seeing patients, to praying at home, with his mosque closed, with KCRW in the form of an audio diary. Click the player above to listen.