In what is the characteristic devotion to parents among our Arab American community, Dr. Samir Dabbous—chief of cardiology at Oakwood Hospital & Medical Center—explains his decision to specialize in heart surgery:  “My father passed away of heart disease when I was thirteen years old.  This was an era before transplants, bypass surgeries, catheterization and angioplasty.  Even as a young teenager I was convinced that something could have been done for him.  I became a cardiologist, too late to save his life, but not to save the lives of others with similar conditions.”

The Biblical injunction ‘Honor thy father and mother,’ takes on a new meaning with Dr. Dabbous’ decision.  Of his own religious affiliation, he says, “We are all children of God.”

Beside his individual skills, Dr. Dabbous is well versed in a historical perspective of medicine, especially as it relates to the Middle East.  “Our tradition dates back centuries, and in many ways, was far more advanced that European medicine of the time.”  He’ll outline numerous medical philosophies of Arabic doctors from years past, but when it comes to a simple method of staying heart healthy, it’s Socrates he quotes:  “Know thyself.”

By this he means, know your blood pressure and cholesterol, and of course, avoid smoking.  “It’s primary prevention we’re after,” he says.  “That means avoiding a first heart attack.  We can do wonders in secondary prevention these days, but it shouldn’t be necessary.  Everybody can make positive changes in their own lives that affect the health of their heart.”

Again, honoring the advice of mothers around the world, he echoes, “Eat your vegetables!”



Russell Ebeid

Flavors or the Arab World December 2nd at the Rock Financial Shwplace,
Sponsored by