Meet Usman, a psoriasis patient living in the UK.
Usman knows that disease education is fundamental to improving people’s perception of his condition. So after spending his childhood in Pakistan struggling with the stigma of psoriasis, he traveled to the UK to pursue a career in medicine and become an advocate for increasing awareness about diseases like his own.
Usman first noticed the signs and symptoms of psoriasis when he was still a child. It wasn’t until he went to medical school in 1994, that he learned that psoriasis was more than just a skin condition, but a disease of the immune system that manifests on the skin.
Born in the northern part of the Punjab, in Pakistan, Usman was an active and happy child who loved outdoor sports. At eight or nine years of age, he started noticing a lot of “pustules” on both of his legs.
“Other children naturally thought the pustules might be a contagious, because they looked horrible. Sometimes, you know, because I’d itch a lot, they used to bleed a lot as well,” recalls Usman. “So, I used to keep my legs covered all the time.”
After seeing a doctor, Usman’s parents were told that he had psoriasis. At that time, there was no real treatment for the disease and it continued to have a significant impact on his life.
“I never learned swimming, because I was so shy of wearing a swimming costume around my friends. I was worried that everybody would make fun of me, or ask me questions about my skin that I wouldn’t be able to answer.”
As he got older, the psoriasis began appearing on his elbows, the backs of his ears and scalp. Usman remembers how self-conscious he would feel about dressing up in a dinner jacket for special occasions, always anxious that there might be dry skin flakes from his scalp psoriasis visible on the shoulders of his jacket.
Usman knows that disease education is fundamental to improving people’s perception of his condition. So, after spending his childhood in Pakistan struggling with the stigma of psoriasis, he traveled to the United Kingdom to pursue a career in medicine and become an advocate for increasing awareness about diseases like his own.
“I think what persuaded me to become a doctor was my personal situation.
Helping patients, supporting people, working with people, making a difference in people's lives.”
In 2016, Usman joined BMS, where he feels fortunate to be part of a team where his work revolves around making a difference in patients’ lives. He believes it’s important to give patients the knowledge, education, awareness, and the tools to cope with their disease, so that they can deal with it with confidence.
About Bristol Myers Squibb
Bristol Myers Squibb is a global biopharmaceutical company whose mission is to discover, develop and deliver innovative medicines that help patients prevail over serious diseases. As global citizens, we work sustainably and responsibly to create a positive impact in the communities where we live and work.