Healthcare Rebel Alliance: Q&A with M. Samir Qamar, M.D., MedWand Solutions

Healthcare Rebel Alliance
Health insurance 101
Healthcare industry
Direct Primary Care

M. Samir Qamar, M.D. is a physician, entrepreneur, and inventor with deep domain expertise in membership medical models and telemedicine technology. 

He is the Co-Founder and former CEO of MedWand Solutions, a California-based telehealth technology company. Dr. Qamar invented the award-winning MedWand, a handheld, FDA-cleared multi-diagnostic medical device that​ allows patients to be examined by clinicians during routine video visits. Dr. Qamar served as CEO and Board Chairman from its founding in 2014 until 2022.

Prior to MedWand, Dr. Qamar was one of the pioneers of Direct Primary Care industry when he founded MedLion in 2009, one of the first Direct Primary Care  and Virtual Primary Care companies in the U.S. Before MedLion, he served as the House Physician for the famed Pebble Beach Resorts while operating one of the first concierge medical practices in Silicon Valley.

​Dr. Qamar completed his family medicine training at University of Pennsylvania’s Penn Medicine - Lancaster General Hospital, with subsequent business courses at Harvard Business School. His accomplishments have been referenced in many publications, including The Wall Street Journal, Fox Business News, Forbes, and Time. Dr. Qamar is a member of the MIT Technology Review Global Panel, American Medical Association, American Academy of Family Physicians, and several other organizations. He has piloted telemedicine programs for Google, won top awards at CES, and assisted with DPC legislation in multiple states. Dr. Qamarspeaks five languages, has studied and practiced in health care systems worldwide, and currently resides in​ Las Vegas,​ Nevada where he is working on his next healthcare venture.

Nick Soman, Decent: Why did you decide to practice medicine?

Dr. Samir Qamar: Growing up, I’d always been fascinated with medicine. The opportunity to help humans at their worst moments, to conjure up the right mix of medications to treat people, and to be trusted by strangers in their time of need – all beckoned to me. I feel like the field of medicine chose me, not the other way around.

Nick Soman, Decent: You've been a doctor to presidents, an inventor of new healthcare hardware like MedWand, and a hustling founder changing the world for the better. How will you measure your one wild and precious life?

Dr. Samir Qamar: By the number of people I would have made smile, by the number of people I would have helped live well, by the number of people I would have helped become healthier – that is how I hope my life will be measured.

Nick Soman, Decent: What are the best and worst things about your job?

Dr. Samir Qamar: The best thing about my job – having the opportunity to help others in their quest for good health.

The worst thing – with so many to help, the constant feeling that I’m running out of time.

Nick Soman, Decent: What misconceptions about doctors or doctor founders would you like to clear up?

Dr. Samir Qamar: When it comes to healthcare startups, doctors understand both the patient’s side and the clinician’s side – an advantage over non-clinician founders who generally approach startups from the patient’s perspective. After all, a doctor can be a patient, but a patient cannot be a doctor. Organizations trying to improve healthcare in any form would be stronger with physicians embedded in their senior leadership.

Nick Soman, Decent: Who else in healthcare inspires you, and why?

Dr. Samir Qamar: This is going to sound cliché, but I’m wowed by any founder trying to improve healthcare. Outmaneuvering incumbents who wish to retain their hold on the status quo, battling the multi-headed healthcare hydra that continuously threatens an innovative startup, or changing a specific population’s mindset is not just inspiring, it’s to be celebrated. Whether they fail or succeed, they forge healthcare’s future.

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