I was born and raised, for the first ten years of my life, in Egypt. My family left Egypt on the pretense that my father would be receiving additional medical education in the United States and return to Egypt. However, soon after arriving in Beirut, Lebanon, my parents visited the American Embassy and applied for asylum in the United States. We arrived in New York City on April 15th, 1966.

I received a BA in chemistry from Franklin and Marshall College in 1976 and my MD degree from Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine in 1979.

I began my postgraduate education as a surgical resident at Long Island Jewish Hospital but decided that internal medicine would better suite my educational and career goals. I completed an internal medicine residency and chief medical residency at Winthrop-University Hospital. I had secured a gastroenterology fellowship at Montefiore Medical Center in New York in the hopes of entering academia, as the concept of academic general internal medicine was nascent at that time and unfamiliar to me. However, the chief of medicine asked me, shortly before completing my chief residency, if I would be interested in being a fulltime member of an academic general internal medicine division he was developing. I immediately took him up on his offer. I was also appointed Assistant Chairman of the Department of Medicine. I was involved in creating the outpatient experience for the medical residents to mirror that of an ambulatory practice rather than a traditional resident clinic.

To be closer to my wife’s family, I accepted the positions of Associate Chairman of the Department of Medicine and Internal Medicine and Transitional year residency programs at what is now Lehigh Valley Health Network. A few years later, I stepped down from these positions and assumed the position of Chief of Ambulatory Care at LVHN, a position I held for ten years.

I currently have published about 90 articles in peer-reviewed journals, two book chapters and a handful of abstracts and poster presentations with medical residents for the ACP Eastern Chapter meeting. I published a series entitled “Puzzles in Practice” in Postgraduate Medicine between 1997 and about 2010 and have reviewed articles for numerous journals including Annals of Internal Medicine.

My roles models on how to practice medicine and how to comport oneself as a physician have been my father, a pathologist who paid attention to every minuscule detail in his work and who studied and read his pathology journals and textbooks every single weekday during his long career, and Sir William Osler, the quintessential internist and historical “father’ to all those practice and teach internal medicine.

I have had three professional philosophies –

  1. An internist ought to be able to solely manage eighty percent of his or her patients’ problems.
  2. Teach as you would wish to be taught.
  3. “Guerir parfoit, soulager souvent, consoler toujours” (Cure sometimes, relieve often, comfort always).