Professor A. Rahim was born on 1st February, 1915 in Peshawar. In 1941, he graduated from King Edward Medical College, Lahore, and was house surgeon to the Professor of Surgery for one year. He did casualty appointment in Mayo Hospital, Lahore, for 3 months after which he was selected for the Punjab Medical Services and appointed in-charge of Fateh Jang Hospital. In 1943 he joined the Indian Army as surgical specialist, dealing with battle casualties in a 2000 bedded hospital in Assam & Burma till 1947. After returning from the army he was appointed as demonstrator in anatomy in King Edward Medical College, where he worked for over a year. Professor Rahim went to UK for post graduate studies and obtained the highest qualification in general surgery, FRCS (London) in 1951. Following this, he specialized in bone surgery and in 1952 obtained the highest degree in this field (M.Ch.Orth) from Liverpool. He was the first Pakistani surgeon to have obtained these qualifications in this specialty.
On his return from UK in 1953, he was appointed by the Government of Pakistan as Associate Professor in Dow Medical College and Orthopaedic Surgeon in the attached teaching hospital, namely Civil Hospital, Karachi. He established the first Orthopaedic department in Pakistan and raised the standard of Orthopaedic and trauma surgery. As a result of this he was promoted to Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery, Dow Medical College in 1964. In 1966, He was made the Administrator of Civil Hospital Karachi, which had 600 beds. This appointment was in addition to the post of Professor of Orthopaedics. He raised the department of Orthopaedic surgery to a level where it was called a "Paradise of Orthopaedics” by the foreign professors who visited his department. He continued his services at Dow Medical College and Civil Hospital, Karachi, till 1972.
His pioneer work in Orthopaedics in this country was not only in surgery of trauma but also in cold Orthopaedics like surgery of the spine, hip, knee and hand.
In recognition of his services, he was awarded the following National and International Awards:
- Freedom of City of Columbia, USA.
- Expert on the Panel of Advisory Committee on Rehabilitation of the Crippled, World Health Organization.
- Tamgha-e-Quaid-e-Azam, twice, Government of Pakistan.
- Honorary degree of FCPS, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Pakistan.
- Prof. A. Rahim Rehabilitation Center Civil Hospital Karachi, the brainchild of Prof. Rahim, in 1968 is renamed in his honor in 1999.
In 1985, Prof. A. Rahim founded the Orthopaedic and Medical Institute in the private sector, which has set the highest standards of health-care in Pakistan. In addition to the most modern Orthopaedic department, the hospital facilities grew under his expert supervision to include a wide variety of surgeries. Under his guidance & direction, OMI became a centre of excellence in healthcare. The continuation of his last expansion program has now raised the hospital bed strength to 100.
Prof. A. Rahim was a very strict disciplinarian. He used to follow rules and regulations himself and expected others to do the same. His subordinates were not exempt in any way. In his tenure at Civil Hospital, Karachi, both his own ward and the entire hospital used to be ultra clean. Life used to start early in the mornings and all members of the hospital were expected to be on time. Prof. Rahim used to visit the hospital without prior information even late at night to observe the working at odd hours. Prof. A. Rahim continued his disciplined life in the private sector at OMI. He was always seen in the premises of the hospital early in the morning, caring for the birds and garden, which he loved so much.