2019 SCHA Awards
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Organization: MedWell Medical
List your nominee's experience in Senior Care.
Michael Tehrani, MD is a Board-Certified Internal Medicine Physician who specializes in Geriatric Medicine. He graduated his Residency from USC and is currently a principle at his practice, Accessible MDs, and, a Medical Director and Advisor at Brand New Day Healthplan.
Dr. Tehrani, or Dr. T as his patients frequently call him, has made a commitment in his career to go beyond traditional medicine in order to truly support the health and well-being of older adults. He often mentions that these are their “Golden Years”; their retirement time; their time to enjoy the fruits of all their hard work; their time to be on vacation, but instead they are in the hospital dealing with illnesses or in doctor offices. They are often confused and perplexed trying to navigate this complex medical system and making difficult medical decisions. “These are not the ways they envisioned retirement,” Dr. T is heard to say, and this is definitely not the path he would want to take in his own retirement.
Consulting with renowned Geriatric Physicians as Dr. Richard Wigod, Dr. T created programs based on compassionate philosophies for his senior patients, the two most prominent being:
1) Prevent illness so you don’t have to treat illness.
2) Bringing traditional medicine back into this modern era.
Modeling these two statements, he has seen his senior population thrive and appreciate the good times that they intended to enjoy in retirement.
Because of Dr. T’s passion for his older adult patients, he has made it his goal to expand this successful program to other doctors and healthcare practitioners. He would like the healthy aging outcomes his patients have achieved to reach all seniors. Part of this mission is to do extensive outreach in the community, and provide education to other physicians and health professions, with a focus on training residents and nurse practitioners. He is a frequent volunteer speaker in the community, at health fares, expos and hospitals, and educating patients on what to ask and expect from their physicians. Through his efforts, he is hopeful that his vision will continue to expand and touch many lives.
Describe how your Nominee has exceeded his or her Job Description, becoming a hero to you or others. Provide an example or as much detail as possible of the things that they do that go above and beyond their job description.
Examples of Dr. T’s sincere love for his patients are many, but one certainly stand out to his peers and his staff:
Dr. T was called in to be the new physician for a patient in the hospital who was dying; in fact, she had been told she only had “days to live”. He had never seen this patient before, but between March 1 and March 4, 2018, he became her physician and her hope. Once he saw her charts, he immediately began a battery of tests and determined she had non-alcoholic End Stage Liver Disease. This woman had just retired after a long and productive career in healthcare, and, was a dedicated volunteer among the homeless. But starting in November of the previous year, she had been steadily declining for no reason that was readily apparent. She eventually lost control of all bodily functions as well as her grasp on reality, to the point where she said, “Suddenly it was as if the world around me literally disappeared.” Reviewing the case on that fateful March 4th, Dr. T knew there was hope; slim, but there was hope. The patient needed a liver transplant; however, time was not on her side as her blood pressure was hovering in the 60’s. Dr. T began a telephone campaign that eventually led to getting the head of Keck USC to sign off on admitting her into their ICU that day – which was a Sunday! After being stabilized there for about 3 weeks, she had the liver transplant and is now living happily and enjoying retirement life. She said, “I have no doubt that God placed (Dr. Tehrani) in my life to help me. Words cannot express what this meant to me. All I can say is thank you for caring.”
This case is the one dearest to Dr. T’s heart, because he felt that he not only helped save his patient’s life, but because of her selfless volunteer activities with the homeless, which she has now reestablished, he has helped save many lives through her. To Dr. T, this is why he went to medical school; this is what makes him happy; these successes are why he became a doctor.
It is clear that we need more doctors like Dr. T who look for reasons to provide hope to patients, and don’t give up! He is definitely a hero to many.