Research is so important. Research leads to results.


Dr. Saad Saad was born in Palestine, raised in Kuwait, and was one of eight children – three surgeons, two PhD and two master’s degrees in engineering and a teacher. He earned his medical degree 47 years ago from Cairo University in Egypt with honors and ranked second in his class. Having completed his medical internship in England, he immigrated to the United States 45 years ago. He did his residency in surgery and in pediatric surgery in the US and he is USA Board Certified in Pediatric Surgery. Saad has been married for 42 years and has four children – two surgeons, one lawyer and an ICU nurse.

He has patented two inventions and developed many new pediatric surgical procedures. For the past 40 years, he has done thousands of complex pediatric surgeries on children, ranging from infants to teenagers. He has done eight medical missions to Jerusalem to perform free complex surgeries on poor children.

Prior to retirement, he was the Surgeon-in-Chief and the Co-Medical Director of K Hovnanian Children Hospital at Hackensack Meridian Health Care System.

When did you first know you wanted to go into the medical profession?

When I was attending high school in Kuwait in 1965, I first thought I wanted to be an engineer like my two older brothers who were working outdoors in construction. Kuwait has very hot summers where it’s not uncommon for the temperature to exceed 110 degrees F. After a few summers I realized I wanted to have a profession where I would be working indoors with air conditioning available. So, I decided to not only be a doctor but to become a surgeon working in an air-conditioned operating room.

Who was your greatest mentor and what lesson from them was most valuable to you?

Dr. H Biemann Othersen, the greatest pediatric surgeon in the USA, trained me to become a pediatric surgeon in Charleston, SC. The most valuable lesson I learned from him was to be kind, honest, hard-working, and to treat all children the same regardless of their color, religion, mental or physical abilities, or financial status

What emerging medical trend most excites you about the future?

How genetics are impacting our ability to understand, prevent, and treat cancer and other chronic diseases.

How do you bring your ideas to life?

Research is so important. Research leads to results. This is what really helps me get my ideas out there. My two patented medical inventions – a catheter and endoscope – were developed after years of research and are used today in medicine.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive?

Organization. When I’m organized, I’m more efficient and won’t procrastinate the assignments that I’m expected to accomplish today. I use a planner to write down all of my important tasks and try to accomplish the most daunting tasks in the beginning of the day. I also practice meditation to get my mind focused.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Reaching your goals is not impossible if you insist on it. If you stay determined and focus your energy on getting what you want, you will never be sorry. Even if you happen to fail, the experience you gain is invaluable.

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

Only God knows our fate. Not many people agree with me on this, but this is what I truly believe. My faith is important to me.

What is one failure you experienced in medical school, and how did you overcome it?

Actually, I did really well in Medical School. In fact, I graduated from my medical school with honors as the salutatorian. I came from a poor family so I had no choice but to do my very best in med school.

What purchase of $100 or less has most positively impacted your life in recent memory?

In my 3rd year as a medical student in 1964, I purchased a $99 airline ticket from Cairo, Egypt to Beirut, Lebanon to take my ECFMG exam. I passed that exam and it allowed me to train in the USA after I completed my formal medical education. That certification changed my life forever.”

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

Any book about President Abraham Lincoln, who freed the slaves and reiterated that all people are equal. We are all equal in the eyes of God. Through the eyes of a pediatric surgeon, I know that all people were created with the same heart, lungs, liver, intestines, and other organs, no matter that person’s race, color, or religion



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