Be Kind: Retiring doctor wipes away $650K in debt as parting gift to patients

ARKANSAS (WABC) -- A retiring doctor from Arkansas gave a generous parting gift to his patients after his 30 years on the job.

Last spring, Dr. Omar Atiq closed down his oncology practice.

Many patients of his had outstanding balances.

MORE NEWS | It's a boy! New York City's 1st baby of 2021 born at Coney Island Hospital
EMBED More News Videos

A baby boy born to Ivett Rodriguez and Antonio Guilbert entered the world just seconds after midnight at Coney Island Hospital.



Atiq knew that many of them were under heavy financial strain because of the virus.

So as a parting gift, the good doctor wiped away the debt for 200 of his patients.

The total debt of $650,000 was taken off the books, and the doctor even made time to send holiday cards.

"They're like our extended families -- there's no higher honor than to serve as a physician, if I have been blessed to be able to help a little, then I am glad for it," Atiq says.

Atiq founded the Arkansas Cancer Clinic in 1991.

He is originally from Pakistan but moved to Arkansas after he completed a fellowship at Manhattan's Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

RELATED | GrowNYC delivers one millionth meal to New Yorkers in need during COVID pandemic
EMBED More News Videos

A New York City-funded program delivered its one millionth meal to city residents hardest hit by the COVID pandemic.


----------
* Get Eyewitness News Delivered
* Follow us on YouTube
* More local news
* Send us a news tip
* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts Submit a News Tip
Copyright © 2021 WABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.