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Early Childhood Experiences Shaped Career of Hospitalist, Former Volunteer

When Maye Mohamed, MD, started as a hospitalist at Samaritan Albany General Hospital in August 2020, she made a call to the Emergency Department at Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center where she volunteered in high school.

“This is Maye Mohamed,” was all she got out before the person on the line replied.

“Maye Mohamed who used to volunteer here as a kid?” the voice asked.

Moments like this have made working for Samaritan feel like coming home.

That someone would remember her after 20‑plus years shows what an impression the young volunteer made and how volunteering helped to shape a career in medicine.

“It was such a positive experience. It really pushed me toward knowing that this is what I wanted to do,” Dr. Mohamed said. “It was the kind of environment where walking into work, you know how you’re going to be received.”

Since returning as a hospitalist, Dr. Mohamed has felt that camaraderie again.

“You know that you’re an important part of the team,” she said.

Dr. Mohamed has known that she wanted to take care of people ever since she was a child recovering from serious injuries in an intensive care unit of a Chicago hospital.

When she was 7, she was struck by a car while crossing the street.

“I was holding my mom’s hand and we looked both ways and she let go,” she recalled. “I was just a few steps ahead of her when the guy ran me over.”

Her father, a physician, rushed her to the nearest hospital, and she was taken by helicopter to Children’s Memorial Hospital for emergency surgery.

Later, she learned that on the day she was struck, three other children were hit by cars in the city. Two suffered severe brain injuries and one died.

“I got lucky,” she said.

Dr. Mohamed remembers one of her nurses.

“I remember her face and her smile. I remember the warmth that she exuded and how happy she made me feel,” she recalled.

She spent three months in traction and a few more months in a body cast, followed by three years of physical therapy where she learned to walk again. She had to study hard to catch up from missing so much school. After high school, she enrolled at Oregon State University.

“I remember on my first day of college in chemistry class, the professor wrote something on the board. I quote it to my kids all the time: Perseverance beats genius any day of the week,” she said. “You’ve got to work hard and do your best.”

Dr. Mohamed took a circuitous route to becoming a physician, first raising two children before pursuing a medical degree in 2012. Returning to work for Samaritan allows her to be close to her son, now a student at Oregon State where she earned a bachelor’s degree, and to enjoy forest hikes with her daughter, a high school student.

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