River Hills doctor selected for Presidential Leadership Fellows


Ajay Sahajpal has found himself in good company for the past six months.

Sahajpal, a transplant surgeon living in River Hills, was one of 58 people selected to participate in this year’s Presidential Leadership Scholars program, which included leadership lessons from Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, as well as others. former employees of the west wing.

Since 2015, the Presidential Leadership Scholarship program has brought together a diverse group of mid-career professionals to learn from each other and learn about leadership through the presidential experiences of Bush, Clinton, George HW Bush and Lyndon B. Johnson. .

“Words cannot describe how surreal it is,” Sahajpal said.

It was something he hadn’t expected growing up as the son of an Indian immigrant in a small town in Prince Edward Island, Canada.

After attending medical and surgical school in Toronto, Sahajpal obtained a fellowship in transplant surgery at the Mayo Clinic before becoming medical director of the abdominal transplant program at Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center.

Sahajpal was one of eight physicians in the Presidential Leadership Scholars program. The other participants came from various fields. He said he ended up making good friends with several Marines and Navy SEALS along the way.

“It’s a high intensity environment where people come out of it as lifelong friends,” he said.

The program consists of approximately six weekend sessions over a six month period. Meanwhile, attendees visit each of the President’s four libraries to learn about specific leadership themes, such as decision-making and strategic partnerships.

After graduating on June 27, Presidential Leadership Scholars are required to put their leadership lessons to good use with a personal project that will benefit the community.

Sahajpal said he was working with Epic, the Madison-based electronic medical records company, to suggest that doctors perform proactive health exams for at-risk patients.

Electronic medical records are typically only used to collect data, but Sahajpal believes they could play a more proactive role in screening for other diseases and conditions.

As a liver transplant surgeon, Sahajpal said he believes doctors should proactively screen patients at risk for hepatitis C, in particular. He said hepatitis C testing alerts could be extended to other hospitals and that tests for other diseases should be included in the future.

Contact Jeff Rumage at (262) 446-6616 or [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter at @JeffRumage or Facebook at www.facebook.com/northshorenow.

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Kevin E. Boling

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