Dr. Amer Smajkic
Dr. Amer Smajkic has a unique story that begins in the country of Bosnia, where he grew up and graduated from medical school at Sarajevo University. When the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina began, he was assigned to a vascular surgery residency program to serve his country. He treated people on the front line and in the hospital, while in constant risk of death by bullets, bombs, hunger or thirst. For months, he saved lives by assisting in hundreds of surgical procedures, often by candlelight, with no electricity or water. During these experiences, he learned how satisfying it was to treat people with war injuries. He also learned that healing came not only from surgeries, but also from long conversations with patients at night, while they listened to explosions throughout the city. He lived in constant fear for his safety and finally left the country to save his own life.
He arrived in Chicago as a Refugee of War sponsored by St. Luke's Episcopalian Church in March, 1994. For the first few months, he helped other refugees and their families establish themselves in Chicago. In June of 1994, he turned his outreach work into a profession by becoming the first mental health counselor in a newly formed Refugee Mental Health program for Bosnians. In 1995, he established a professional academic relationship with the Department of Psychiatry of the University of Illinois at Chicago, with Drs. Stevan Weine and Ivan Pavkovic as mentors. Under their leadership, he participated in numerous research projects involving Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
As an Attending Physician and Clinical Instructor at Rush University Medical Center, Dr. Smajkic provides inpatient care for child and adolescents, and education for medical students, residents and fellows. He is also a member of a private practice, where his areas of interest include Anxiety and Mood Disorders in Children, prevention, early recognition, and treatment.
Dr. Smajkic's unique experiences have helped him to create a career path that combines his family background, war and life experience and personal talent. He has cultivated a profound natural commitment to practice as a psychiatrist and child psychiatrist, and is dedicated to researching the effects of violence and healing, understanding and treating survivors, and educating fellow professionals.
Click here to download a copy of Dr. Smajkic's CV.