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Department Chair

Sameer Vohra, MD, JD, MA, FAAP

Department Chair

Department of Population Science and Policy





Primary Responsibilities

My primary responsibility involves leading the Department of Population Science and Policy to achieve its goal of researching, designing, and implementing innovative solutions to improve the health of central and southern Illinois.  I also see children in my general pediatrics practice as a member of SIU Healthcare. 



Also, an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Medical Humanities, and Law.

Trained in medicine, law, and public policy, I have devoted my career to finding solutions to make people healthier and happier.  A native of Illinois, I have lived and learned throughout the state having had the privilege of residing in communities in northern, central, and southern IL.

My educational journey started at Northwestern University where I received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with honors and Science in Human Culture.  I left Chicago to enter Southern Illinois University’s Medicine and Law Dual Degree Program graduating with degrees from the Schools of Medicine and Law (graduating first in my law school class).  After the completion of the dual degree, I returned to Chicago to complete my residency in pediatrics at the University of Chicago, having the distinction of being the Department of Pediatrics’ first ever public policy track resident.  This experience resulted in a Master of Arts in Public Policy at the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy.  I have lived in Springfield since July 2015 practicing pediatrics, teaching medical students, and working with School of Medicine’s dedicated research and policy scholars to improve health outcomes in our service region. 

I have had the privilege of receiving several honors throughout my career including a United States Fulbright Scholarship in 2009, the American Medical Association Foundation’s Excellence in Medicine Leadership Award in 2014, an Edgar Fellow in 2016, as one of 40 emerging political and policy leaders in Illinois, and most recently was named a Friend of Education in 2018 by the Illinois Education Association.  I am also a leader in organized medicine, having served on national committees for the Association of American Medical Colleges and on the Board of Trustees for the Illinois State Medical Society and the Chicago Medical Society.  I continue to serve on committees for the American Academy of Pediatrics, its Illinois Chapter, and sit on the Board of Trustees for the Sangamon County Medical Society. 

I am thankful every day to have a loving, talented wife and two amazing young daughters.  We love to read, watch movies, travel, and root for our beloved Chicago sports teams.