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Member Spotlight: Dr. Faroukh Mehkri
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In our newest Member Spotlight, Dr. Faroukh Mehkri talks about what he learned during his time as a #lifesavER and a Texas police officer, a dual experience that fostered his appreciation for emergency medicine. Dr. Mehkri is a proud constituent of Senator Royce West and Representative Rafael Anchia.

“Police! Open the door!” I yelled at the top of my lungs. We had just pulled up to a small-dilapidated house in the southeast part of town. Smatterings of blood on the front porch immediately sent our heart rates through the roof and gave us the exigent circumstances we needed to enter quickly. “Police! Open the door and show me your hands!” my partner commanded from a side entrance that had been reinforced with a wooden sheet. With no response and no options left – we kicked in the door to find a man sitting on the floor, surrounded by blood with a revolver gleaming in the sunlight on the wooden paneled floor.

On this particular day we were dispatched to a “possible injured person call” which was not unusual, however no one warned us of a potential shooter or a potential threat on scene. We immediately secured the man, secured the weapon, and swept the house, finding a second man with a single gunshot wound to the back of his leg. When we evaluated the wound, we determined it required minimal first aid and hemorrhage control. Thankfully, he sustained no life-threatening arterial bleeding.

Calls like these continue to make me thankful for my 6 years of experience as a medic prior to medical school and law enforcement. There’s only so much you can learn in simulation or in a classroom. Those years as a medic taught me how to react to situations like this one, the likes of which the average person would have no idea how to approach. Had that bullet landed just 3 inches higher, the man could have bled to death from the small caliber bullet, all because of a trivial argument with his brother in law. Tourniquet on my belt, combat gauze in hand, and the gleam of that revolver still burned in my mind—I thanked God for putting us here despite the danger.

My beat tends to be the highest crime area of the city and my patrol station the busiest. We took him to Parkland ER, a hospital I was intimately familiar with because of years in medical school. I shadow my mentor there regularly, work in EMS research, and now bring prisoners there as well. It’s a strange sensation walking the halls in police uniform instead of scrubs and giving “patient reports” to the attendings who do a double take, realize who I am and laugh. One particular time, my partner calmly sat in a chair as I ran over to a shock room where they had just announced a CPR in progress. “Watch your prisoner rookie!” my partner scolded, reminding me of my new role in this facility. I had much to learn about my place and responsibilities. The purpose is the same—help who you can. However, the method is different and I have to learn how to separate the two.

Time and again these critical intersections required me to draw on my years in EMS, medical school, and law enforcement. The Venn diagram of my separate lives was slowly becoming more concentric. Although I was completely set on emergency medicine coming into medical school, even with an entire career in EMS during college and a continuation through national leadership roles during medical school, my most intimate relationship and mature appreciation for the field of emergency medicine was experienced on the streets in a squad car.

Emergency medicine serves as a safety net for all of society. It is a safe haven for those having the worst days of their lives who have nowhere else to turn to. In EM, we are drowning in information while starving for knowledge. We seek that one detail, that vital clue that will reveal the right answer. We live to serve anyone, anywhere, anytime and we do it without judgment. We do it because we feel compelled, even at our own expense. It is in our nature, in our blood, to go from zero to 100 in a matter of seconds, to fulfill Malcolm Gladwell’s philosophy of thin slicing – “Get a lot from a little.” With so many people to help and so little time, we often have to complete the jigsaw puzzles using unreliable details, maybe even intentionally misleading information, and do our best to be the detectives, reach a reasonable conclusion, and move on to the next person in need. Ironically, I gained the most appreciation for these truths during my career as a police officer. I appreciate my chosen path more with each shift, because honestly, read this account again and replace the words “emergency medicine” with the words “police work” and the entire account will still hold true from my perspective. Whenever I try to explain how these two fields are so different, yet so similar in how they drive my never-ending passion, I recall my favorite quote, “I was born for the storm and the calm does not suit me.” -Andrew Jackson




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