Chafik Assal, M.D.

Snapshot | Spring 2012

 

Work
Employer: Arrhythmia Treatment Associates, PLLC; Charleston Area Medical Center; Charleston, W.Va.

Training
Residency: Internal Medicine: Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, 2006
Fellowships: Intercardiovascular Medicine: Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, Pa., 2009
Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology: Geisinger Medical Center, 2010
In practice since: October, 2010

Chafik Assal, M.D.

Personal
Volunteer Arabic instructor at St. George Cathedral in Charleston, W.Va. Passionate about learning foreign languages—speaks Arabic, English, Spanish and French. Enjoys traveling and exploring the world, learning about other people’s cultures, languages and customs. Also likes hiking, swimming and photography.

What’s your advice for residents who are beginning their job search?
Be true to yourself. This is the point where you choose where and how your life is going to be. Know what you are looking for and go where you think you will be content. No single opportunity is perfect, but you have to choose what seems “right” for you. Compare the pros and cons of each opportunity, and choose the one with more advantages.

What surprised you about your first post-residency job?
It was a major transition from fellowship to practice in terms of the growing responsibilities and having to make independent medical and business decisions that impact patients, staff, other physicians and myself. The dynamics of the relationship between the referring physicians and the consultant was a major learning experience.

What do you wish they had taught in med school but didn’t?
The business side of medicine. This is extremely helpful in the process of choosing the right job and also during the interview and negotiation stage.

Anything particularly unique about your job search?
Not all medical specialty jobs are created equally. Finding a job in a highly specialized, constantly evolving field of medicine, such as cardiac electro-physiology, is particularly distinguished as there is the important need for a supportive cardiology community to sustain the practice.
In addition, the hospital system needs to offer the optimal work environment especially in terms of modern equipment, technology and computer software.
These factors are essential to my specialty as they provide the physician the optimal environment to perform well and grow in experience and knowledge while in practice.

Any other advice?
I advise residents and fellows to make the most of their post-graduate training and focus on being confident with their medical knowledge and skills. This is the key to success in any medical job type they choose because it allows them to gain the trust of the medical community, which is pivotal in growing a practice and growing as individuals and physicians.

 

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