Nisar Quraishi, 73, Longtime Tribeca MD, 'Gave His Life to What He Loved'

Dr. Nisar Quraishi with his grandchildren Aidan and Zoe Quraishi. Photo courtesy of Zahid Quraishi

Posted
Apr. 19, 2020

In the hinterlands of 1970s Tribeca, Nisar Quraishi was the urban version of a country doctor, a much needed internist serving the fledgling residential neighborhood. And for the next 37 years, as Tribeca grew into a vastly different place, the doctor continued his general practice there, first in a ground-floor office of Independence Plaza, then at 303 Greenwich St.

It was not until 2013, when Quraishi started to “slow down,” as his son Zahid said, that he left, joining NYU Langone at Trinity on lower Broadway. Still, he kept an apartment in Greenwich Court, and rented out what had been his office.

‘He wasn’t willing to part with Tribeca even when he joined NYU,” Zahid said over the phone. “I think he always wanted to be connected to the community. He always spoke very fondly of the area and he never considered moving his practice somewhere else.”

Quraishi, who lived in New Jersey, was continuing to see patients this month at NYU Langone when he himself was infected by the coronavirus. He died from complications of the disease on April 11 at age 73.

From the time in 1970 when he emigrated to New York from his native Pakistan, where he received his medical degree, Quraishi spent his entire professional life Downtown. Before opening his decades-long practice in Tribeca, he completed his residency at what then was Beekman Hospital, now NewYork-Presbyterian Lower Manhattan Hospital.

“He was intelligent, but also level-headed and always calm,” Tribeca realtor Jeffrey Tabak, a friend and longtime patient of Quraishi, said of the doctor on Facebook. “He was quiet, but kind and compassionate. He was loyal and caring, and generous.”

“He was always a patient listener,” said another longtime patient, Allan Tannenbaum. 

Zahid, a federal court judge serving in New Jersey, said he father was very selfless in what he gave to family and neighbors and the community, whether it was somebody in the Muslim community or just a neighbor who was a different religion, different race.”

“We believe he passed away giving his life to what he really loved,” his son added. “He loved practicing medicine. He loved helping other people, which caused him to be infected and pass away.

Zahid said his father had been urged to take time off because of the virus. “But he said there are people who are scared and ill, they dont know whether theyre infected with the virus or theyre just sick. So this is the time when physicians really need to be out there and supporting the community. He really was brave in what he was doing.” 

Quraishi is survived by Shahida, his wife of 50 years, another son, Abid, who is also a physician, and four grandchildren. The family asks that donations be made to the  Albaseerah International Institute in Plainfield, NJ.

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