Full name: Ahmed Assas
Hometown: New York, NY
Place of Practice: Ramapo Anesthesiologists, Suffern, NY
Why did you want to become a doctor?
Growing up, I was always intrigued by the biological sciences. However, what really did it for me was the experience my family and I went through during my high school years when my father suffered a major heart attack. My father's heart stopped. Fortunately, the doctors were able to resuscitate him and get his heart beating once again. That day, the doctors who saved his life became my heroes. That difficult experience happened about 16 years ago. From that day forward, I knew that I wanted to become a doctor. Medicine allows me to constantly interact with people and is mentally challenging. I knew that medicine was the right fit for me at my first day of medical school.
What sets you apart from other doctors in your field?
I'm often described as being very compassionate and comforting. This is particularly important in my field of specialty where I believe it is the duty of the anesthesiologist to help allay the fears and anxieties of patients before surgery in addition to anesthetizing them safely. Nothing gives me more satisfaction than getting a patient to smile or laugh before such a stressful experience. Being a bit more personable and learning about my patient's life outside the hospital setting is what I think comforts people the most.
What are your 5 tips for living longer?
- Surround yourself with family and friends who are engaged in healthy activities, make smart choices themselves, and are supportive of your efforts to be healthy.
- Stay positive and enjoy your health. Laugh often. If you enjoy your life, you'll work harder to protect and extend it. Don't forget to get your sleep, too. People who get more sleep live longer.
- Choose activities that you actually enjoy. Consistent exercise shouldn't mean 30 minutes to an hour of pain everyday. But it does mean setting aside some time for yourself and doing something active that gets the heart rate up. That can be almost anything.
- Make your dieting less about denying yourself foods you love, but instead just reaching for better quality alternatives. It should be about eating better instead of just eating less.
- Hydrate. Always carry a water bottle around. Americans are chronically dehydrated which can cause innumerable damage. Proper hydration can reduce hunger, boost energy, increase metabolism and improve your skin. In fact, its thermogenic effects on the body can burn calories!