As the Future of Medicine series comes to a close, it is best to reflect on what the future holds for prospective and current AUA students. Many AUA graduates have made strides in their professions as they anxiously wait to start their residency. Hassan Masri, who will be practicing Internal Medicine at Harbor Hospital in Baltimore, has been working on an extensive research project, the results of which may revolutionize patient care in the United States.

Hassan Masri enrolled at AUA in January 2006 and managed to pre-Match at the hospital where he completed his rotations. Internal Medicine became a passion for him because it was the closest to his heart. He believes that it is a patient-oriented field that allows him to think through all the possible diagnoses that can fit a patient’s condition.

“This detective work is fascinating to me,” said Masri. “Surgery is a lot more mechanical.”

Masri’s research study began when a 93-year old woman entered Harbor Hospital for a routine check-up. She looked healthy and the doctors and nurses looking over her did not give it any second thoughts. Nevertheless, she stayed overnight for observation. The next day she became deathly ill. A couple of days later she passed away. Masri and his team are currently examining 500 patients in Harbor Hospital and testing Masri’s hypothesis: that these deaths are linked to respiration rates.

“Once a patient is assumed to be healthy, patient care goes down,” said Masri. “Our study will compare our values [for respiration rates] to the values of the nurses that oversee these patients and we’ll see if they match.”

For future physicians, Masri has some advice. In his opinion, what separates an average physician and a great physician is humility, how often they read books & articles about medicine, whether they keep up-to-date with the latest trends in medicine, and their attention to detail.  Most of all, he believes that listening to the patient comes first.

“Fit the patient to the picture of the disease, not the other way around,” said Masri. “Don’t think what disease the patient might have before talking with them about their symptoms.”

The future of medicine relies not only in newer, more effective technologies and treatments but in the physicians themselves. A lot has been written about the upcoming physician shortage on this website. However, because more physicians do not necessarily mean better ones, AUA strives to teach its students how to become laudable, studious physicians. The students featured in these articles were only five of the many more that matched this year. Imagine what next year’s graduates will do.