Please share with us where you attended medical school and tell us about why it made the top of your list.
I went to medical school at UNC-Chapel Hill. The education at UNC Medical School is unrivaled and the program is dedicated to training physicians to serve North Carolina citizens which is also important to me as a North Carolina native. That said, I still refuse to cheer for the Tarheels since I attended Undergrad at NC State. Go Pack!
Please share with us where you competed residency and how/why you ended up choosing that location.
I completed residency at Carolinas Medical Center. I enjoyed my time there since there is a great mix of both community and academic medicine and the program is known for making great emergency physicians. The entire program is one big family with everyone caring about and supporting each other. The training you receive at the program undoubtedly prepares you to be a great physician.
Tell us more about how you came to choose the field of medicine?
While I can’t give an exact answer of when, it is something I have always been drawn to even as a child. In school, I really enjoyed the sciences and ended up with an engineering degree. For a while, I thought I would stop there but really enjoyed the patient interactions I had when I was training to become a paramedic while in college. I decided to take it one step further… and here I am.
How did you choose Emergency Medicine as your specialty?
One of my engineering classes gave us an opportunity to design a device for emergency medical services. In the process, you could obtain your EMT certification. I kept taking it further and got my paramedic certification and worked in EMS while in college. During medical school, every specialty rotation, I in kept finding myself comparing it to when I did EMS. The ability to treat any patient regardless of where they come from, and the wide scope of practice is something Emergency Medicine has that no other specialty does.
What about becoming a physician was attractive?
Coming from an engineering background, I really enjoy the challenge of applying the basic sciences to everyday problems and coming up with solutions. Medicine is very similar. It requires a large amount of scientific knowledge but also being able to apply it to the patient in front of you to make their lives better.
What do you enjoy most about your day-to-day practice?
The patients. There are always rough days in medicine, especially in emergency medicine, but the part I enjoy the most is when I get to spend time with the patient. I try my best to put them at ease by learning something personal about them. Most people meet me under bad circumstances so I try to make their day better when I can.
What led you to practice with MEMA? How long have you been with MEMA?
I have been with MEMA for close to one year now. I joined MEMA given the group’s focus on physician wellbeing and community. This focus helps reduce physician burnout and creates better patient care and career longevity.
Has there been one patient, staff member, or caregiver story that has stuck with you?
Early as a new attending, I had a patient that came in with weakness in their legs. They had been to 3 different physicians and already had an MRI of their spine. Ultimately, I diagnosed them with Guillain-Barré Syndrome. They got treatment and improved but still had some weakness. I was working a couple of months later and one of my colleagues told me there was a patient that wanted to talk to me. It turns out it was her. She thanked me for figuring out the diagnosis promptly since it helped her condition get better and was incredibly thankful and appreciative. It really helped me learn early in my career that I can significantly impact my patient lives for the better.
What are some of the biggest challenges of your practice, for a clinician practicing in the emergency department?
There are lots of challenges in the Emergency Department and is hard to single one out. One of the biggest is trying to navigate the health care system for patients with no health insurance or minimal resources. We are the safety net of society and always available to help people, unfortunately, we cannot treat every condition. It can be frustrating figuring out a diagnosis but then having trouble getting the patient the treatment they need.
Are you a member of any associations, societies, or organizations?
I am member of the American College of Emergency Physicians.
What about Charlotte excites you?
I grew up in Charlotte and seeing it constantly transform is exciting to see. The number of restaurants, businesses and opportunities now compared to when I was a child is incredible. You can always find something to do in Charlotte, but it still has the suburban feel at the same time.
Do you have any Hobbies, interests, or secret powers that are unique to you?
I’m not sure it’s a secret power, but I can speak three languages: English, Arabic and Spanish.