Meet Safi Mohammed, D.O. - Employee of the Month

Safi Mohammed, D.O. is employee of the month

At McLaren Macomb we believe in recognizing outstanding employees who consistently exceed expectations to ensure the highest degree of patient satisfaction. The Employee of the Month award is presented to an employee whose exemplary performance, professionalism and leadership contributes to McLaren Macomb's mission and core values.

Meet Safi Mohammed, D.O.
Urologic Surgery Resident

Born and raised in Schaumburg, a suburb northwest of Chicago, Dr. Mohammed is the oldest of three first-generation, U.S.-born children. Dr. Mohammed is grateful for his parents who often worked two to three jobs while instilling in him and his siblings at a young age how hard work, dedication and a kind personality all contribute to the achievement of goals and success throughout life. The first in his family to attend college, Dr. Mohammed received an undergraduate degree in chemistry and molecular/cellular biology from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. He then completed his Master's in biotechnology and chemical science at Roosevelt University in Chicago attaining his medical degree in 2014 from the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine at Midwestern University.

Dr. Mohammed will celebrate one year with McLaren Macomb in July 2015. He is currently a urological surgery resident within the surgery department. You will find him diligently working on all the patient floors, including the emergency and operating rooms. As a first-year resident, his main role is to work with the general surgery department in helping to treat, manage, operate and take care of their patients. As he approaches his second year of residency, his duties will expand to include treating patients who require urological surgery and attending to their associated medical needs.
While there are several things that help motivate Dr. Mohammed on a daily basis, he professes the number one thing that motivates him is always being mindful of how much work, sacrifice and dedication it took for him-and, more importantly, his parents and family-to launch him into a career in healthcare. Along the way he has never forgotten his ambitions, pointing out, "Becoming a physician, let alone a surgeon, has always been a dream for me, even while I was working in other disciplines of science. There is not a single day that goes by that I am not thankful and grateful just to have the opportunity to do what I do. It motivates me to always work within the best of my ability and to take full advantage of every day."

When asked why he chose McLaren Macomb for his residency, Dr. Mohammed is quick to point out that the residency matching process was a key factor he considered when determining his residency selection. And since McLaren Macomb was near the top of his ranking list, he could not be happier to have been placed here. He has found that the overall atmosphere created by the healthcare teams and staff makes it a great place to work and learn.

Dr. Mohammed believes that the single best part of his work is his ability to interact with his patients in a compassionate and caring manner. Knowing that medicine is a unique profession in which a person trusts another with their most private and confidential information, he holds sacred their confidence that he will treat and help them during their time of need. He admits, however, "So often physicians get caught up in the daily rigors of seeing patients quickly and efficiently, we often forget that medicine ultimately boils down to helping and caring, adding that even though my career is just beginning, being able to show my patients I care, and to see their reactions, thankfulness and trust in me makes every tough day worth it. It reminds me of a saying one of my mentor's always uses: "˜Your patient won't care what you know, until they know that you care.'" Dr. Mohammed believes that patient satisfaction is not defined by the outcome of the care, rather by the attention to detail and communication given to patients about their care and views a truly satisfied patient is one who would refer other family members to their physician or healthcare team without any reservation.

When asked how he turns a bad day around and makes it good, Dr. Mohammed says that though some days bring greater challenges he has learned that to make the best of any day is to step back and think how insignificant some of our daily problems truly are. He reminds himself daily that there are many people in this world suffering from hunger, lack of shelter or even the ability and opportunity to pursue betterment in their lives. He is deeply grateful to be blessed to help others who are in need. "It is these reflections that truly humbles me, and causes me to inject a little humor into situations to make people smile and ultimately turn their rough day around."

As for advice for those beginning a career, Dr. Mohammed would say, "Never waste a new opportunity or endeavor-even if it is not your ultimate goal." He would also encourage embracing high work standards and ethics as these will directly open new doors in the future. From someone who has been working full time since the age of sixteen, Dr. Mohammed believes that every job helps and molds one into a better fit for the next phase of their career.

Dr. Mohammed worked previously as a sports scientist for the Gatorade Sports Science Institute, designed and managed a cell culture laboratory working with muscle cells and electrical pulse stimulation and worked as an MCAT course instructor for Kaplan Test Prep. He also served as a senior pharmacy technician for Walgreens, Inc.
When not working, Dr. Mohammed lifts weights, participates in mixed martial arts, tinkers with technology and cars. He also maintains active membership in American Osteopathic Association, American Urological Association, Phi Sigma Kappa National Fraternity, Gold Humanism Honor Society and Gatorade Sports Science Institute.

About being recognized as the July 2015 Employee of the Month, Safi shares his thoughts:
"I would like to take a brief moment to thank the committee and staff for this honor. I am humbled and grateful for the recognition. I share this award with every other intern and resident at McLaren Macomb-you all continue to be great colleagues and teachers to work and learn from. A special thank you to all nurses and staff for all that you do on a daily basis for our patients.

"To my parents, thank you for all your continued sacrifices to help me achieve my dreams. Without you both, none of this would be possible. To my siblings and the rest of my extended family, thank you for your continued support and faith. I hope I make you all proud and show you that hard work is a reward in itself, I love you all."

Why Dr. Safi Mohammed was chosen as the July 2015 Employee of the Month
Dr. Christopher Schnurer, director of Medical Education, nominated Dr. Safi Mohammed, for "going above and beyond to provide the highest standard of care and concern while treating a patient."

According to Dr. Schnurer: "An elderly man recently entered McLaren Macomb's emergency department in critical condition and was subsequently admitted to the ICU where Dr. Safi Mohammed happened to be serving as a first-year resident. Initially, the patient and some of his family members expressed concern about osteopathic physicians providing care. However, as a first-year urologic surgery resident, Dr. Mohammed took a personal interest in the patient and family.

"During the initial evaluation it was discovered that the patient had advanced cancer. Unfortunately the patient's malignant disease progressed at a rapid rate and he was re-admitted multiple times. Dr. Mohammed befriended the patient and his family, and with each subsequent admission helped them to understand the disease and his personalized plan for treatment. As the disease progressed, however, the patient eventually opted to enter hospice care. So moved by Dr. Mohammed's compassion, care and kindness, the family specifically requested that he be present to provide guidance and care during their loved one's final admission. Dr. Mohammed was truly humbled by their request and the trust they placed in him and, more importantly, how the family changed their minds about osteopathic physicians."