Dr. Mostafa El-Beheiry - Resident Spotlight: At the forefront of surgical education

For second-year resident Dr. Mostafa El-Beheiry, coming to Schulich Medicine & Dentistry made complete sense both academically and geographically. Dr. El-Beheiry was initially attracted to the School’s General Surgery program because of its distinguished surgical training and outstanding group of mentors, and as an avid traveler he gladly accepted the move to London.

Dr. El-Beheiry explained his interactions with patients inspire him to continue the rigorous and intense workload, and also fuels his determination to perform effectively during his training.

Where were you born and raised?
I was born in Cairo, Egypt and my family immigrated to Canada when I was four months old. We moved a few times while my parents were getting established in Canada. I have lived in Vancouver and Kingston, but ultimately spent my teen years in Mississauga.

What degree/degrees do you have, and from what university/universities?
MD, Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine, McMaster University
MSc (Physiology), University of Toronto
BScH (Biology), Queen's University

What special interests or hobbies do you have?
I enjoy travelling when I'm able to get the time off. This past year I've been able to make it to Jamaica, Paris, Switzerland, and New York City.

I also like to sneak in non-textbook reading — I’m currently reading The Shock of the Fall by Nathan Flier, a fascinating book written from the perspective of a young man with schizophrenia. It’s not quite non-medical I suppose, but certainly non-surgical.

I like to keep my hands busy as well by putting together and painting model airplanes and ships, with a future project being the HMS Beagle.

Why did you choose to pursue your residency and Schulich Medicine & Dentistry?
Schulich Medicine & Dentistry has one of the best reputations for surgical training in Canada and North America, with graduates spread all over North America in centres of excellence. I felt that the General Surgery program here offered the best opportunity for me to get the most out of my residency, and to prepare me for independent practice. The program remains at the forefront of surgical education with the facilities at CSTAR, its high volume of surgical cases, and its excellent group of mentors.

I was also excited by the prospect of being part of the Division that has Dr. William Wall and Dr. Angus McLachlin within its pedigree. And, of course, coming to London made logical geographical sense as well as it completes my east to west tour of post-secondary education in Ontario.

What inspires you in your work?
The patients. From those that show incredible strength in the face of disease during the perioperative period, to those that show unflinching optimism regardless of the severity or prognosis of their illness. The people we have the privilege of caring for are inspiring.

What has been your greatest experience to date in your residency?
There are a lot of great experiences to speak of, so it's difficult to choose one. But the moment that kept me grinning like an idiot for the entire day was when I performed my first independent laparoscopic cholecystectomy. There's a lot of careful dissection around very important structures when you're removing someone's gallbladder, and to be able to do that in my first couple of months as a second-year resident was certainly an incredible experience. One of the best parts of the experience was actually the follow-up appointment where the patient's pain associated with their gallstones was totally resolved and they had healed nicely with no complications.

What do you do when you're not working?
Thinking about why I'm not working. Actually, I really love spending time with friends, going to the movies, watching TV and playing video games (it’s hand-eye coordination training, if our Program Director asks). I also enjoy keeping up with my research endeavors.