Rizk and Hussaini recognized for Exceptional Moments in Teaching

Portraits of Elias Rizk, MD, (faculty) and Zeba Hussaini, MD, (residents/fellows) are shown next to the words Exceptional Moments in Teaching.Elias Rizk, MD (left), and Zeba Hussaini, MD

Elias Rizk, MD, and fellow Zeba Hussaini, MD, were recognized through the “Exceptional Moments in Teaching” program for the month of November.

November 27, 2023Penn State College of Medicine News

Dr. Rizk is a professor in the Department of Neurosurgery and chief of the Division of Pediatric and Peripheral Nerve.

“Dr. Rizk was a wonderful teacher to me as well as a wonderful doctor to his patients. He took the time to teach me not only about his patients and neurosurgery but also about what it means to be a physician,” a student said. “He took the time to get to know me as an individual and to remind me what medicine is really all about – making a difference in people’s lives.”

Dr. Rizk trained at Penn State and the American University of Beirut. His clinical and research expertise includes all craniospinal and peripheral nerve surgery. Dr. Rizk is very active and holds leadership positions in numerous academic neurosurgical societies. His hobbies include travel, reading, running and history.

Dr. Hussaini is a third-year gastroenterology and hepatology fellow in the Department of Internal Medicine.

“I had the opportunity to work with Dr. Hussaini as the fellow on both the GI and liver services. She’s extremely organized and communicates well. She took the time to allow me to practice presenting to her prior to rounds, giving me advice and prompting me to think ahead about questions the attending may ask,” one student said. “She also helped me improve my note writing by specifically going over notes that I had written that day and letting me know how I could improve them. She taught about various relevant topics that arose and always made sure to talk me through procedures I was not familiar with. She’s very compassionate and always checked into see if I was in a good learning environment and encouraged me to be inquisitive. I really felt like I was part of the team thanks to this amazing fellow!”

Dr. Hussaini attended Ursinus College followed by medical school at the Sidney Kimmel College at Thomas Jefferson University and then completed her internal medicine residency at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. She has a special interest in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and plans to stay at Penn State Health as faculty after completing her training. When not in the hospital she can be found spending time with family, friends and coworkers. She enjoys traveling at every opportunity and cycling both outdoors and on the Peloton.

Penn State College of Medicine’s Office for a Respectful Learning Environment recognizes exceptional faculty, residents and fellows with the monthly “Exceptional Moments in Teaching” program. One faculty member and one resident/fellow are highlighted each month for their contributions. College of Medicine students are invited to submit narratives about faculty members, residents, nurses or any other educators who challenge them and provide an exceptional learning experience using the online nomination form.

The Office for a Respectful Learning Environment fosters an educational community at Penn State College of Medicine in which all learners and educators feel supported, challenged, valued and respected. It serves all learners at the College of Medicine: medical students, graduate students, physician assistant students, residents and fellows.

See previous faculty and resident/fellow honorees here.

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