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Becoming the First Neurointensivist in My Country

By Dr. Toufic Chaaban

It was 2:00 AM at Beirut-Rafic Hariri International Airport, moments before a long trip to the United States. I was drinking coffee and trying desperately to distract myself. At the time, I was 30 years old, recently engaged, and a fresh graduate in pulmonary and critical care. I was on my way to begin a U.S. graduate medical education program on a J-1 visa for subspecialty training in neurocritical care.

After enduring hard, emotional goodbye moments with loved ones, I did not engage in productive self-care. Instead of thinking positively as I was about to embark on my journey, I sat worrying about a number of things…(read more )

Dr. Toufic Chaaban

Name: Toufic Chaaban, MD
Title: Program Director, Fellowship in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine
Institution: Lebanese American University, Beirut
Exchange Visitor Sponsorship Program Alumnus: The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center (July 2018 – June 2020)

“Go back to your home country, make a difference, fill a gap, and feel the satisfaction of achieving something for your country.”

— Dr. Toufic Chaaban

International medical graduates account for about one quarter of all physicians in graduate medical education in the United States. Within that cohort there are more than 13,000 foreign national physicians, sponsored by ECFMG on the J-1 visa, providing critical health care services and cultural diversity in training hospitals across the United States. ECFMG is designated by the U.S. Department of State as the sole BridgeUSA sponsor for J-1 exchange visitor physicians enrolled in accredited programs of graduate medical education or training.

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