#IamMGH - Meet Dr. Najib Safieddine
#IamMGH tells the stories of our people. Meet Dr. Najib Safieddine, division head for thoracic surgery at Michael Garron Hospital (MGH).
“I’ve been at MGH since 2011. I completed about six months of my residency here during my surgical training at the University of Toronto and really enjoyed it. So, when the rare opportunity came up to join the thoracic surgery team, I jumped at it.
I specialize in thoracic surgery, which I decided to pursue while training as a general surgeon partly because I found it technically challenging. To me, that made it all the more exciting and interesting. I’ve actually always wanted to be a surgeon. Growing up, I had a knack for taking apart and assembling things like bikes, VHS players and furniture. I’ve always been good with my hands in that way and it was something fun I enjoyed doing.
Because MGH is a teaching hospital, I also get to train the next generation of surgeons and medical professionals. To me, this is a big draw — working in a place where I wouldn’t be able to teach would be a major downside. I love teaching because working with up-and-coming physicians, surgeons and other healthcare practitioners keeps me on my toes. They typically have fresh ideas and ask questions you wouldn’t have thought of. It also gives me the opportunity to share my experiences with them and help them advance their careers. It’s kind of nice to see if you can teach someone to do something just as well or better than you can. There’s something fun about that.
However, being a surgeon can be a tough job, too. It can be sometimes emotionally taxing. But there are lots of things I love about my job. When I’m not having a great day, I read cards and thank you notes from patients which are always uplifting. When I’m dealing with a difficult case that I can carry to a good outcome, I feel very rewarded.
And, finally, I cherish working with and learning from others who are great at their jobs and are knowledgeable and skillful. They challenge me and make me want to do better. It is so important to have opportunities to learn and grow like this.”