Dr. Saad Saad, the first Arab paediatric surgeon to be U. S. board-certified

Picture being a personal paediatric surgeon for the children of the Saudi Royal. This golden opportunity came to Dr. Saad Saad in the 1980s because he, the only U.S board-certified paediatric surgeon, spoke Arabic and English fluently.

Dr. Saad, born in Palestine and raised in Kuwait, is among eight children in his family, three of whom are also surgeons. He got his medical degree from Cairo University and graduated with honors and was second in his class. Saad did his internship in England and later moved 45 years ago to the United States. He completed a residency in paediatric surgery and surgery and became Board- Certified in Paediatric Surgery. Becoming certified in the U.S. is difficult and requires continuous surgical practice, specialized training and one has to undertake a rigorous exam after every decade.

 

In Riyadh, he worked at King Faisal Specialist Hospital after the hospital chief and Protocol Office called him to serve them by performing surgeries ranging from o the most complex ones. While there, Dr. Saad operated on a young baby suffering from an aneurysm. He saved the baby, and to educate others, Saad convinced a leading scientific journal to have the details published. The hospital chief and Protocol Office highly regarded his opinions and took seriously his suggestions on whether a patient’s surgery should be performed at the hospital or abroad. One of the hospital’s assistant chiefs trusted Saad and opted for him to operate on his son rather than taking him overseas.

 

King Faisal Specialist Hospital is mainly for serving the Saudi Royal family, but other royals from neighboring countries sought treatment from the hospital. It also welcomes indigent patients suffering from complex paediatric surgical illnesses. Dr. Saad comes from a poor background but Dr. H Biemann Othersen, his mentor, ingrained in him the principle that all people are equal. According to Saad, the most valuable lesson he received from Biemann is for him to practice kindness and fairness by treating all children, regardless of their race, financial status, religion or physical and mental abilities, the same. While in the U.S, Dr. Saad assisted young adults and children in the Holy Land. In the U.S, he undertook four medical missions and eight missions in Jerusalem and West Bank where he performed free complex paediatric surgeries on poor children.

 

Dr. Saad is always looking to improve traditional surgical procedures and methods in a bid to reduce pain and risks exposed to his patients. He has created many paediatric surgical processes and patented two of his inventions. Saad has assisted in establishing a Surgical Residency Program for Saudi Students. The program enables Saudi students to receive surgical training in Saudi Arabia without having to travel abroad. Learn more: https://www.doximity.com/pub/saad-saad-md