Academic Role: Assistant Professor and Co-Director of Thoracic Anesthesia
Faculty Appointment(s) and Affiliations:
As a teenager growing up in Algeria, I lived next door to a hospital and I spent most of my time there because my very close friend was the son of the director. I had the unique opportunity to observe the doctors and their patients as their paths crossed on a daily basis. It was during this time that I came to understand the devotion and the patience demonstrated by the doctors. Watching the physicians put in twenty-four hour shifts, on-call to soothe the physical pain and the wounded morale of their patients, inspired a tremendous level of respect in me for the profession.
After high school, I entered medical school where I studied and worked alongside patients for seven years. As a student, I was limited in the level of support I was able to provide patients and yet I noted how much even the most minor intervention meant to those in need.
Fortunately as a result of a strong ranking in my residency exam, I had a full range of choices for my specialty. I opted for surgery due to its exciting and dynamic nature. However, during my residency I discovered and immediately became attracted to anesthesiology. This area of study was not well known by students in Algeria at that time. The vastness of the field that anesthesiology covers, acute and chronic pain management, critical care, and a comprehensive approach to the pharmacological, metabolic and nutritional aspects of management, whetted my desire for this profession.
After two years of residency, I had to leave Algeria for France as a result of a civil war that erupted suddenly. While in France, I learned of the possibility of taking the equivalence exams to practice in the United States, and that’s what I did. I remember the day I landed in Boston in September, 1998; I was so scared and terrified to face a new world, a new country and a new culture that I almost went back to Paris before even leaving the airport. Fortunately and luckily after few months, I met people I will never forget that trusted me and helped me; I want to credit Drs. Vacanti and Dr Heard here at UMass where I did my residency and where I decided to stay as a faculty member.
I am in my seventh year at the Memorial campus where I enjoy working in a superb and outstanding environment. As a co-director of thoracic anesthesia, I enjoy working with residents, medical students, and SRNAs. Their total satisfaction at the end of each rotation is just one of many rewarding aspects of my job.
M.D. University of Algiers, 1992
UMass Memorial Medical Center, Residency in Anesthesiology, 2001-04