Zaiba Malik, M.D., a clinical assistant professor of surgery in the Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine, has been recognized as among the world’s most impactful ophthalmologists.
The Ophthalmologist magazine named Malik to its 2021 Power List of the 100 most influential female figures in ophthalmology as determined by an international panel of judges. She was among nearly 300 ophthalmologists nominated by the magazine’s readers for the honor.
“Women are making contributions to the field of ophthalmology and bringing new ideas and innovations to the global arena,” Malik told the magazine. “It’s important to recognize achievements beyond traditional academic scholarship. Amplifying women’s efforts empowers more women — and men — to envision broader possibilities and create their own legacies.”
To help fight blindness in the developing world, Malik has traveled to India, Fiji and Ecuador on medical mission trips, performing cataract surgeries and teaching local eye care providers. She typically performs as many as 40 cases per week on these international humanitarian trips.
“I feel we have a responsibility to help others with our skills and knowledge,” she said.
During a trip to Jaipur, India, Malik was a featured speaker at the annual conference of the Women Ophthalmologists Society. She spoke about how female ophthalmologists can network efficiently and was presented with the Woman Leads Award.
Malik’s passion for international health care can be traced back to her childhood. Her parents immigrated to the United States from India for their medical residencies. Her father is a general surgeon, and her mother is a family physician.
“My parents have always been involved in giving back,” said Malik, who was born in Chicago and grew up in Orlando, Florida. “I grew up seeing how nongovernmental organizations work, whether it was packing relief supplies for war-torn refugees or traveling on mobile medical vans in villages.”
Her father also encouraged her and her brothers to learn about different cultures. So, on family vacations, he took the family to Canada, Egypt, England, Germany, Indonesia, Malaysia and Saudi Arabia.
Malik and her husband, Mukarram Khan, D.O., a pain management specialist, continue this tradition of traveling all over the world with their children. The couple’s sons have accompanied Malik on several medical mission trips.