8 questions with our Challenge Detroit participant

Ali Beydoun is a recent graduate of the University of Michigan and current Challenge Detroit participant. While at the University of Michigan, Ali earned his Bachelor of Science degree with Distinction in Brain, Behavior and Cognitive Science. Ali is from Dearborn.

What made you want to get involved with Challenge Detroit?

While at U of M, I began to understand the importance of doing the most good in every possible situation.  This motive is what compelled me to apply to the Challenge Detroit program.  My whole life, I wanted to be a doctor.  This is still the case, but before I attend medical school I want to have hands-on experience and give back to the community that raised me. After deciding to take a gap year before applying to and matriculating in medical school, Challenge Detroit posed the perfect year long initiative to satiate my philanthropic appetite, as well as give me exposure to the Paris of the West through a unique and comprehensive lens.

What is going well in Detroit? What can be improved?

The energy in the city is starting to get contagious.  There is so much development, so much activity, and so much investment that Detroit seems to be fast approaching a tipping point.  Everyday, I hear about new events being planned and new people moving downtown.  Ten years from now, Detroit may very well be the next “it” city.  Countless leaders have lectured in front of Challenge Detroit explaining how the city is at the edge of “the hockey stick” graph, meaning we are near the point of exponential growth. This is my hometown, and I want to help make our city as great as it once was.  And, the brilliant part is that we can all help make this happen.  Our motto has become “Detroit is big enough to matter in the world, and small enough for you to matter in it.” So what can be improved?  Anything you can imagine.

What types of projects will you be involved in at Beaumont?

One major project is a feasibility study to research “best practices” associated with community-based mobile and neighborhood services. Several others include Bike Safety Mapping, Automatic Electronic Defibrillator (AED) Education and becoming a part of the Community Health Coalition. More technical aspects of my involvement are committee related: Weekly administrator team, PRC, BGP leadership, and Daily Ops meetings are just some examples. In line with my medical interests, I have been generously offered exposure to various Centers of Excellence and medical services.

What did you know about Beaumont before you started and has anything surprised you?

I knew that Beaumont was one of the most awarded and highly rated hospitals in the country.  What surprised me the most is trying to grasp the difference a Beaumont hospital can make in a community.  Now, when I hear, “Do you have a Beaumont Doctor?” I know it speaks not only to the world-class physicians, but also to the astounding physician team backed by the incredibly collaborative and multidisciplined executive team that is wholesomely warmhearted.

In your opinion, what role does health care have in the revitalization of Detroit?

Health care has the most vital role in the revitalization of Detroit. The proper health education is often as important as proper medical services; both are responsibilities of the health care system. Without proper health practices and healthcare facilities no city has ever thrived.

What are your favorite activities, restaurants or events to participate in in Detroit?

There is always something happening in Detroit. I really enjoy picking up the freshest ingredients from the Eastern Market on Saturday mornings, or the various farmers’ markets throughout the week. I’m definitely a sports guy, so attending a game at Ford Field or Comerica Park are at the top of my list. I took a chance with ballet in early spring, and was blown away  by the Barcelona Ballet Company’s performance of Swan Lake at the Detroit Opera House. As for eating, I’m a foodie and thus far have not had a single bad experience in the D. Of the more recent places I have visited, I recommend trying Avalon for lunch if you haven’t already!

Where would you like to see your career going after this experience?

Hopefully in the direction I’ve been headed for as long as I can remember: just that much closer to being a well-rounded, empathetic, and business oriented physician. Though I have only been at Beaumont for four months, experiencing the hospital environment  through the eyes and actions of administrative executives has dramatically enhanced my understanding of healthcare and how it is efficiently administered. I cannot begin to imagine how much I will learn and improve my own professionalism and leadership skills as I work side by side with one of the best healthcare institutions in the nation.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Yes, if you’re reading this please follow me on Twitter & Instagram. For more information on the Challenge Detroit Initiative visit: www.challengedetroit.org !

I want to give a special thanks to Linda Kruso and the rest of the team here at Beaumont for being the ONLY health system involved in this initiative, and for granting me this once in a lifetime opportunity!

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