Question: Where are you from?
Dr. Zaki: I was born and raised in Egypt. I came to the United States around fifteen years ago.
Question: When did you know you wanted to become a doctor?
Dr. Zaki: When I finished high school. My father wanted me to be a pharmacist because it was a shorter course and was easier money-wise. But I chased my dream and didn’t care about how long the journey was so long as I got to do something I liked. I love medicine, I love taking care of people, I love making people feel better and making a difference in their lives.
Question: Where did you go to school?
Dr. Zaki: In Egypt I graduated from Minya Medical University. I finished my residency there and worked as a general family practitioner. I worked in a small village as their only physician, seeing all ages of patients and doing all types of procedures, including home deliveries. When I came to the United States I had to start all over again. I attended New York Medical College’s Family Medicine Residency Program here at the Hoboken University Medical Center. I am currently board certified in family medicine.
During my residency program I received the First Outstanding Resident Award for both my second and third year. I was recognized for my research on identifying and managing patients with chronic kidney disease, stages one, two and three. My research won awards and was discussed at both New York Medical College and Hoboken University Medical Center.
Question: How would you describe your bedside manner?
Dr. Zaki: Bedside manner is very important to me. I like to give the patient undivided attention. I believe in making eye contact, listening and really focusing on them, not anything else. Once they enter the room, the time belongs to the patient and to the patient only.
Question: What is the most rewarding part of your job?
Dr. Zaki: When the patient comes back, smiles, hugs me and says “I feel great because of you.” This is my biggest reward. I feel like I’m making a difference in that person’s life.
Question: What is the most important thing for a patient to look for in a physician?
Dr. Zaki: I think the most important thing about a physician is caring for the patient. Giving the patient enough time to answer all of their questions and address all of their concerns, taking an in-depth patient history and doing a thorough physical exam. It is important to really understand what the patient is going through.
Question: What is the most important patient habit to stay healthy?
Dr. Zaki: Keep following up with their physician on a regular basis. If they feel healthy, maintain their vaccinations and remember their annual checkup or physical. I take these physicals very seriously. Even if the patient is completely healthy I always explain preventative measures and check family history for hereditary health issues, such as family history of Cancer or other specific diseases.
Question: Is there something you wish your patients would do, but maybe don’t usually do on their own?
Dr. Zaki: I am always open for my patients and really wish they would follow up. A big part of managing the patient’s condition is the follow up, so I always welcome them to call me at any time.
Question: What would you’d like your patients to know about you?
Dr. Zaki: I take my job very, very seriously, but I’m really very outgoing and I like to have fun. Sometimes I look very serious, but I like to laugh and tell jokes. I’m very funny and very friendly.
Question: If you weren’t a doctor, what kind of career would you have?
Dr. Zaki: I honestly cannot imagine myself doing any other job. Even when I came to the states and I had to start all over again, there was only one dream for me, only one thing I could imagine.
Question: What do you do when you aren’t studying and winning medical awards?
Dr. Zaki: I really like to fish. One time, during a small competition I caught a big, big fish, a twenty pound striped bass, and won the contest.
Question: Do you spend a lot of time with family?
Dr. Zaki: Yes, I am married with three kids. Rebecca is my oldest, she is thirteen years old. I have a son Josiah, who is seven, and my youngest, Grace, is one and a half years old.
Question: What is your favorite movie of all time?
Dr. Zaki: Ratatouille. We watched it in theaters, me and my kids, and since it was released we have watched it maybe twenty, twenty-five times. Every single time we watch it I have fun.
Question: Where is the best place to eat in Hoboken?
Dr. Zaki: I like Zafra. I recommend the Cuban sandwich or steak sandwich.
Question: What is your favorite part of Hoboken?
Dr. Zaki: This area, near the waterfront from Washington to the water. I think it is so beautiful and relaxing.
Question: Who is your inspiration?
Dr. Zaki: My father was my inspiration as I grew up. He was always a big supporter of mine. He supported all of my decisions. Now that I’m married, my wife. She is a big support for me. She shares my journey in every way, studying, passing, failing.
Dr. Zaki is a Board Certified Family Practice physician at Riverside Medical Group’s Hoboken Maxwell office. Learn more about Dr. Zaki and the Hoboken Maxwell office at our weekly open house. Click here to view the open house schedule and RSVP today!