Doctor Spotlight: Imad Harsouni, M.D.

September 24, 2021

For Imad Harsouni, M.D, internal medicine specialist at Palisades Medical Center, his plate is unquestionably full when it comes to hobbies. After-work hours you can find him balancing an eclectic set of activities that include cycling, baking and playing the electric guitar.

Each April, however, he focuses on fasting from dawn to sunset during the month-long Ramadan observance. He says that has reaped both personal and physical benefits forhim, and he uses his hard-earned insight to counsel patients, who span the gamut of ages and health conditions, on the crucial link between what we eat and how we feel.

“Fasting teaches you a lot about patience, which is a good quality to have as a doctor,” says Dr. Harsouni, who grew up in Bronx, New York, and began his role at Palisades in January 2021. “I think most of health is a function of diet. As a society, we’ve adopted the idea of eating three large meals a day, but I don’t think humans were built for this type of lifestyle.”

Q: What draws you to baking?

A: Baking is like science. It reminds me of organic chemistry, from using the scale to measure exact weights of ingredients to watching chemical processes taking place when applying various degrees of heat energy. My favorite all-time treat to bake is called kanafe, which is shredded filo dough with a cheese and cream custard filling.

Q: What’s the most interesting thing you’ve seen or done on your bike?

A: I’m a New Yorker at heart, so I love riding my bicycle along River Road into Hoboken and Jersey City along the Hudson River and taking in the mesmerizing view of the New York City skyline. When you’re riding extended distances, you can cruise through both city and neighborhood streets.

Q: If you could have dinner with a celebrity, past or present, who would it be?

A: Serbian-American inventor Nikola Tesla (1856–1943). He was an underdog who came up with amazing innovations that fueled electronics and magnetics, but he died poor and undervalued. We owe a great deal to him, and he’s a very intriguing figure to me.

Q: Why did you choose primary care over another specialty?

A: Everything starts with primary care, and I’m basically a jack-of-all-trades, which I like. We pick up diseases early on, review the patient in terms of care they’re getting elsewhere and bring it all together. I like talking with my patients about a lot of things as opposed to a single health issue. Caring for someone long-term and following their progress brings me gratitude.

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