- The 45-year-old emergency room physician is one of six candidates seeking the nomination to run against Republican Congressman David Schweikert in Congressional District 6.
Amish Shah resigned from the Arizona House of Representatives on Thursday to focus on his congressional campaign. The Indian American Democrat is one of six candidates seeking the nomination to run against Republican Congressman David Schweikert in Congressional District 6, which covers parts of Scottsdale and northern Phoenix.
Shah, 45, is board-certified in emergency room and sports medicine and works at the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix. He was first elected to the House in 2018 in Legislative District 24, which covered parts of Phoenix and southern Scottsdale. After redistricting, he was re-elected out of Legislative District 5, which runs from northern Phoenix to the city’s downtown area. “This has been a super educational experience for me,” Shah said on the House floor, local radio station KJZZ reported. “I went from an ordinary citizen to now a man running for Congress, and sometimes it was really surprising where I found agreement and where I found opposition.”
Speaking to the Arizona Republic after he announced his Congressional bid, Shah said he’s “proud of the overall record (at the State Capitol) in that I’ve been able to move a lot of legislation, (with the) most number of bills of anyone in my party.”
One of “the biggest reasons” he got into politics, is to show people that “to show people that this isn’t a very good system for taking care of the whole human being.” He told the publication he knows what hurdles the uninsured or underinsured face. “It leads to bankruptcy. It leads to poor decision-making, mean(ing) … people are forced into poor choices, either forgo my next meal or two or afford my insulin. Those kinds of choices that I don’t think people should have to make.”
Another reason he wants to run for Congress is “the national government’s role in legislating health care policy,” he told the Arizona Republic. “He also wants to have a chance to make a larger difference.” Noting that “a lot of health care policy is actually done at the federal level,” he said he wants to “have an impact specifically in that part of policy, but also in several other areas that are also going to be at the federal level. And it’s a chance to make a bigger impact.”
Raised in Chicago by parents who immigrated to the U.S. as engineering students in the 1960s, Shah attended a Catholic school from grades K-12. He then attended Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, and graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics. He graduated from Northwestern University Medical School as part of the Honors Program in Medical Education.
After medical school, he worked for LEK Consulting, LLC, an international strategy consulting firm. He completed a Master’s in Public Health with a full Merit Scholarship at the University of California, Berkeley, followed by residency training in Emergency Medicine at New York City’s busiest Level I trauma center. He won the American Academy of Emergency Medicine’s National Resident Research Competition for his work in inventing a new method to provide care for the critically ill.
Shah taught medical students and residents at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York as a full-time faculty member and academic researcher. He has published several articles in peer-reviewed journals. While there, he also led the New York Jets Airway Management Team. Amidst concern over the potential catastrophic injuries, he helped the NFL improve their emergency management through research and presented his work at the NFL Physicians’ Society.
He graduated from the University of Arizona’s Sports Medicine fellowship, a Division I college program featuring a wide breadth of sports coverage. His research project and clinical focus were ultrasound-guided procedures and diagnostics. He is currently board-certified in Emergency Medicine and Sports Medicine and practices throughout Arizona, treating adults and children.
Outside of his medical practice, Shah founded the first Arizona Vegetarian Food Festival as a philanthropic endeavor to promote healthy eating and eliminate preventable diseases. Now in its seventh year, it attracts thousands annually. He contributes to Sounds Academy and the Humane Society of the United States, organizations that focus on children’s exposure to the arts and the promotion of a kind society, as well as several other charities. He has three adopted cats — Hillary, Miss Meowerson, and Cousin Oliver He enjoys basketball, flying small airplanes, and adventurous travel.