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02/05/2021

Feb. 1 – Mar. 1: Black History Month

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Recognizing Physician Anesthesiologist Week

A father’s sacrifice becomes motivation

Peter Armanious, MD, is pursuing his dreams of becoming an anesthesiologist at NewYork-Presbyterian Queens in Flushing, New York, with unrelenting diligence and purpose. His motivation is a lifetime of watching his father’s hard work and sacrifice as he faced the challenges of moving to a new country with his young family.

A successful pharmacist in Cairo, Egypt, Dr. Armanious’ father decided to move his family to the United States to offer his children more opportunity. After the move, he found his education and success in Egypt did not transfer to his new home. He took a job as a stocker at a national drugstore chain until he was able to become a licensed pharmacist in New York. Watching his father’s sacrifice was motivation for a young Peter to work even harder to pursue his dreams.

Dr. Armanious’ first job was at that same national drugstore chain as a pharmacy technician. In that job, he developed a love of the details of pharmacology. This enthusiasm was supported and encouraged by his father. Every night, he would teach his son more about the drugs they worked with at the pharmacy. The elder Dr. Armanious taught his son to think before every medication he gave a patient.

“I loved learning about pharmacology and physiology, so my interest in anesthesiology quickly turned into passion.”

He told him he must consider the effects and efficacy of treatment options and the uniqueness of the patient. In the end, he should always consider how it would affect the patient as a whole. These lessons formed an extraordinary bond between the two; a bond that became irreplaceable when, eight years ago during his time in medical school, Dr. Armanious lost his father to cancer.

Even though he lost his father during his surgery rotation, Dr. Armanious was able to fulfill all requirements and perform well on the shelf exam. He proved to himself he could handle stressful and difficult situations which is key for an anesthesiologist.

Trust from patients and a sense of belonging

Today, Dr. Armanious is continuing to develop his career path. He currently works on general cases. He is considering expanding into working in the intensive care unit, completing a fellowship in pediatrics or specializing in pain management. Regardless of what path he chooses, one thing stands out to him most – he is honored by the level of trust that patients have in anesthesiologists.

He says that being able to comfort a patient and gain his or her trust is truly a privilege. “Anesthesiology is the ideal field for me because it involves the disciplines I appreciate most and an environment in which I function best. My exposure to the field has only reinforced my confidence that anesthesiology is where I belong,” says Dr. Armanious.

As he looks forward in his career, he wants to be the best “Peter Armanious” he can be. He doesn’t strive to be the best at everything, but to know that he gave it his all, and is the best version of himself as an anesthesiologist, husband, colleague, and mentor that he can be.

Advice to others just starting their careers

The best advice Dr. Armanious can give to others considering a career in anesthesiology is, “Do what you love. Always question everything. If it doesn’t make sense, don’t accept it for face value. Try to make the world a better place even if others are skeptical. Speak up if you don’t believe something is right. Don’t let fear of being different hold your voice back.”

Sometimes it’s difficult to find a work-life balance. In that instance, Dr. Armanious says, “Work hard but still enjoy life. Maintain a balance. If you believe in God, trust in Him, and He will direct your path. There will be struggles and tribulations, but it will all be worth the experiences. Don’t regret mistakes, take them as learning experiences.”

In the end, he says the most important thing to remember is, “We are all humans. Just because you are a CEO, CFO, CMO, or director, doesn’t take away from your humanity. We have different skills, but we are all human. Treat everyone with love, compassion and respect and it will be returned to you several fold.”

Thank you, anesthesiologists

It’s Physician Anesthesiologist Week 2021, and we want to recognize anesthesiologists everywhere for your dedicated efforts providing compassionate healthcare to communities nationwide. Thank you for your remarkable clinical work, adaptability and resilience.

TeamHealth anesthesiologists are pioneering care management inside and outside of the operating room. Learn more about becoming a part of the team here.