Farewell, Good Doctor.

“I will make you a Professor.”

He would always tell me that during my 4th Year Medical School Anesthesia rotation at Rush University Medical Center. He really wanted me to become an Anesthesiologist, and I always felt he never forgave me for going into Internal Medicine and subsequently Pulmonary Medicine and Critical Care. Yet, he never gave me a hard time, and that’s part of what I loved about him.

Dr. Abdel Rauf El Ganzouri passed away on November 2, 2018. He is survived by his wife, two daughters, his son, and their families. We are all deeply saddened by his loss. The world will not be the same without him.

I spent 6 weeks with him during that rotation, learning about Anesthesiology, physiology, pharmacology, but also life and religion. He was such a great teacher and mentor. He was respected by everyone who worked with him. There is a huge hole in the medical field, and no one can ever fill that gap.

One morning, he saw a drug sales rep bring bagels to the staff lounge. He chuckled to me and quoted these verses of the Quran:

وَيُطْعِمُونَ الطَّعَامَ عَلَىٰ حُبِّهِ مِسْكِينًا وَيَتِيمًا وَأَسِيرًا
إِنَّمَا نُطْعِمُكُمْ لِوَجْهِ اللَّهِ لَا نُرِيدُ مِنْكُمْ جَزَاءً وَلَا شُكُورًا
they give food to the poor, the orphan, and the captive, though they love it themselves, saying, ‘We feed you for the sake of God alone: We seek neither recompense nor thanks from you. (76:8–9)

He said this remarking that these drug reps give us food because they want us to buy their products, not out of the goodness of their hearts. Whereas the believer gives food for the sake of God. Such a poignant message which has stayed with me to this day.

That was just how he was: never missing an opportunity to teach and pass along his tremendous and valuable wisdom. He was a tough teacher, never taking BS from any of his students. But that toughness was out of true love. He really took me under his wing, and I will never forget the experience, the kindness, and that love.

If he showed that much love for me, I can only imagine how he treated his family. And I know they adored him, and he will be sorely missed.

Beloved Lord, please accept Your servant, Dr. Abdel Rauf El Ganzouri, into Your Soothing Arms of Mercy. Beloved Lord, treat Dr. El Ganzouri better in Heaven than he treated those who loved and admired him on earth. Beloved Lord, please comfort the pain of his family and soothe them as only You can in these times.

Farewell, Good Doctor. We will never forget all that you did for us. God bless you with Paradise, Good Doctor, and may we all be together in His Garden again. Amen.