Tell us about which medical school you attended and why it made the top of your list:    

My family immigrated to the United States from Beirut, Lebanon in the fall of 1973 when I was in tenth grade. We settled on the Virginia side of D.C. and the University of Virginia college and School of Medicine were by far the best value in education and happily, twice my first choice.


Where did you complete your residency?   

I was undecided about a specialty choice at the time and started with 2 years of general surgery at Geisinger Medical Center in Pennsylvania, and then switched to complete a family medicine residency in another 2 years. During this, I moonlighted in surrounding area emergency departments and that’s where I found my passion for emergency medicine.


Tell us more about how you came to choose the field of medicine?

My parents were old school and originally becoming a doctor was their dream. Early on, I was still trying to adjust to the new culture and wasn’t sure what I wanted to do exactly, so it was easy to follow their guidance. It was a good thing too, as I absolutely found medicine a perfect fit for me.


How did you choose Emergency Medicine as your specialty and what do you enjoy most about your day to day practice?

As I mentioned in an earlier answer, there was some trial and error at the beginning first with general surgery and then moving to family medicine before finding emergency medicine.

Over the years, my perspective has evolved and every day I have gained more insight. Every patient is a puzzle, and not just medically but also in the uniqueness of their needs and emotions.  They come for reassurance, for definitive answers, for alleviation, for validation, and for a combination of needs. It is a good feeling when I get it right and can address it all for them. It is the best feeling when I also gain their full trust.


What led you to practice with MEMA?  

For me, it was the path of the right time, right place, and finding the right Practice. 


Has there been one patient, staff member, or caregiver story that has stuck with you during your MEMA tenure?

Not one by name, but those with humbling abilities, positive attitudes, and enviable energies that I just can’t figure out how they do it.  I especially think of the ones who have been dealt with bigger challenges and misfortunes to overcome.


Are you a member of any associations, societies, or organizations?

I am a member of the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) and the NC College of Emergency Physicians (NCCEP).


Have you received any awards or been recognized by your peers? If so, tell us about it!

My ongoing reward is seeing the trust and respect I’ve received from all the people I work and interact with. If my perception of this is only my delusion, I’m good with that!

Though, a recent confirmation of that respect was a very heartwarming surprise. MEMA created an award in my name: The Ghuneim Award for Nursing Excellence. It is an honor and I am looking forward to being part of presenting this award to well-deserved nursing staff.


What about Charlotte excites you?

I like Charlotte, and while I think I would have found contentment in a number of other places, I’m grateful for the fortunes that brought me here.


Do you have any hobbies, interests, secret powers that are unique to you?

My secret power is finding the path of least resistance and accepting the compromises I may have to make to walk it.