the brain trainer
When Javed Siddiqi first arrived at Desert Regional Medical Center in 2005 to fill in during a neurosurgeon shortage, he planned to stay for 10 days. That plan changed when he was asked to stay and build a new neurosurgery program. Siddiqi agreed, but only after “doodling on a piece of paper” his vision for a neuroscience center that would go beyond neurosurgery to encompass neurology, neurointerventional programs, neuro critical care, and a comprehensive stroke program.
“Here we are, 12 years later, and everything that was in that little doodle essentially is now in place,” Siddiqi says, referring to Desert Regional’s Institute of Clinical Orthopedics & Neuroscience. “I led the team and founded it and I’m very proud of it and my team. It’s really been a fantastic achievement for the community.”
Indeed, he sees what he and his colleagues are doing via neurosurgery and high-end stroke care as community service, even though it may not fit the stereotypical image of a public health measure. “If we improve the access to acute stroke care, the whole community stands to benefit, not just an individual,” Siddiqi explains, “since everybody in the community is, to some extent, at risk of having this happen to them or their families.”
What he has become most proud of, however, is his role as founder of Desert Regional’s residency program in neurosurgery. Whether Siddiqi (who happens to be a Rhodes scholar) is in the operating room, doing rounds, or updating families, residents are always by his side, learning. “That’s what I want written on my tombstone, that I trained neurosurgeons,” he says. “I am exponentially increasing my contribution to my field by training young people who are going to go out and do what I am doing.”
“I am exponentially increasing my contribution to my field by training young people who are going to go out and do what I am doing.”Dr. Javed Siddiqi, Desert Regional Medical Center
VIDEO: Dr. Javed Siddiqi talks about knowing his career path since age 10.