While growing up in Egypt, Dr. Zaki Elmaghraby’s dream was to leave the Middle East for Europe. The United States, it seemed, was too far and too difficult to reach. However, when he started medical school, it became more and more apparent that the United States was the ideal place for physicians to learn and excel. The science, innovations and resources were much more abundant and robust than anywhere else. Dr. Elmaghraby also loved American rock ‘n’ roll music and dreamed of attending a Bruce Springsteen concert.
After he finished medical school in Egypt, Dr. Elmaghraby worked as a physician for five years before finally coming to the USA. His first three years in the United States proved extremely challenging. He worked as a vendor on the streets of Brooklyn and at other times as a limousine driver. The weather was cold, money was sparse, emotions were draining, and support was lacking. His family was tens of thousands of miles away and being alone on this “ride” was difficult.
Studying and sitting for board exams under these circumstances was not an easy task. Dr. Elmaghraby was fortunate to find a job as a lab technician in a New Jersey hospital and passed his American boards while working there. He then received recommendations from his colleagues and the hospital physicians to complete his residency at the same hospital. It was like a fairy tale.
Dr. Elmaghraby’s first stethoscope was bought with a collection from every worker in the lab and ER. His coworkers somehow felt that his achievement as a lab employee becoming a physician in the same hospital was their achievement too. Everyone felt that she or he had participated in his success, and seeing his progress was enjoyable for each one.
It was in that same hospital that Dr. Elmaghraby met his wife, who was finishing her nursing degree. Together they moved to Boston, where he completed his fellowship at Tufts University.
Moving to Florida and watching the shuttle launch from his backyard with his wife, four kids and friends was his ultimate dream come true. Since he has been in Brevard county, Dr. Elmaghraby’s practice has grown significantly. He has attracted the attention of a few other accomplished pulmonary, critical care and sleep physicians that joined his practice, as well as physician assistants and nurse practitioners.
Looking back at his path, Dr. Elmaghraby feels that he has exceeded his father’s expectation as well as his expectations for himself. In light of this, he shares, “I am thankful for everyone who agreed and also those who disagreed with me, both have made me who I am today.”
Independent Lung Associates
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