Mohammad Turaani wants to be the voice of hope for patients as a physician

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Mohammad Turaani is smiling at camera wearing his Wayne State University cap and gown.

HFC alumnus Mohammad Turaani is truly inspired to become a doctor.

“There are so many reasons combined into one,” explained Turaani, of Dearborn. “You need to love medicine and have a passion for it, a passion for helping people. I want to this to be my journey.”

Turaani recently graduated with departmental honors from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Wayne State University, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in neuroscience with a minor in psychology. He was also the featured student at the CLAS commencement ceremony in May. This fall, he will start his med school journey at the Wayne State University School of Medicine.

One factor in Turaani's career dream is his fascination with science and the complexities of the human body. On a personal note, his younger brother Mukhtar has drawn his attention to the life-changing work of medicine.

“I will see him in every patient I serve”

“Mukhtar – whose name means ‘the chosen one’ in Arabic and he has a rare [medical] condition, which is ironic – is definitely a primary motivator of my pursuing a career in medicine because it will provide me with the skills and tools to help people in need. I can’t help him specifically, but I know I will see him in every patient in my care. I want to dedicate every good deed I do for him,” said Turaani. “Medical school will educate and provide me with skills and tools to help people in need, regardless of their race, creed, culture, or background – we all share the same human anatomy. Because medical school is a very selective program, I am fortunate enough to be in a position to pursue an education in medicine. I want to be that voice of hope for the people who need hope, for the people who weren’t able to have the opportunities that I had.”

“HFC prepared me 100% for Wayne State, the MCAT, and medical school”

Born in Jordan and of Palestinian descent, Turaani is the second of five children and the eldest son. He completed high school overseas and immigrated to the United States in 2019. When he arrived in the U.S., he enrolled in HFC, where he studied biology. He transferred to Wayne State in 2022. Through a reverse transfer agreement, he earned his associate degree in biology from HFC in 2023.

During his time at HFC, Turaani was the president of the Muslim Student Association and a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success and the Henry Ford II Honors Program. He was also a semifinalist for the prestigious national Jack Kent Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship.

“I am absolutely proud of Mohammad. We established a wonderful rapport during his time at HFC. He was an outstanding student, very active in student life, and dedicated to his studies. Mohammad set a goal for himself, which he always articulated, and I’m elated that he stayed on course and accomplished his goal to attend medical school. He is an excellent example of perseverance and resilience. I look forward to meeting Dr. Turaani in the future,” said HFC Director of Student Activities Cassandra Fluker.

During his time at HFC, Turaani also participated in the Entomology Research and Outreach Fellowship through the Department of Entomology at the Michigan State University College of Agriculture & Natural Resources in the summer of 2021. The EROF gave him the opportunity to work with world-class researchers in the STEM fields.

“HFC prepared me 100% for Wayne State, the MCAT, and medical school,” said Turaani. “I took a lot of my pre-reqs at HFC, which really helped when taking the MCAT because it covered the material that was on it and secured acceptances to several renowned medical schools. Were it not for the education I got at HFC, I wouldn’t have been able to succeed on the MCAT and be where I am today. A huge portion of my success is attributed to HFC and its faculty members who taught me well. I absolutely encourage people to attend HFC. I had a great education at the College.”

A profound international academic experience

In July 2023, Turaani was one of several students who gave a presentation called "Cardiovascular and Metabolic Disorders in Mild Cognitive Impairment among Older African Americans" at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

“Saying this experience was profound is an understatement. It was truly the highlight of my year,” he said. “A feeling of accomplishment ran through me as I presented, discussed data, connected with professionals, and absorbed as much as I could from the invaluable knowledge of the cutting-edge findings presented. A moment I will never forget was when the applause from the audience erupted like a symphony of appreciation after one speaker said, ‘Today marks a new era in Alzheimer’s research.’”

The impact of this experience went beyond academics for Turaani. It taught him the importance of perspective. For instance, while attending an International Society to Advance Alzheimer’s Research and Treatment workshop, Turaani discussed reasons and approaches to challenges faced when recruiting specific cohorts.

“It highlighted the importance of empathizing and looking at the world through another person's lens,” he explained. “As an aspiring physician, this was the most crucial non-academic take-home message. I left Amsterdam determined to attend and present at next year’s conference in Philadelphia, thankful for the opportunity to be part of it, and with a profound sense that I departed with more knowledge than when I had arrived.”

He presented at AAIC 23 a week before he took the MCAT.

“It was a tough week,” recalled Turaani, “but it was worth it.”

“I want to be remembered as someone who made a positive impact”

His goal is to be a surgeon, a researcher, and a professor at a medical school.

“I love science. I love knowledge. I love education. As a doctor, I want to pursue a career that will involve continuous education,” he said. “I want to be remembered as a compassionate person who contributed significantly to humanity, science, and academia. I want to make a contribution to the world, and be there for people when they need me. I want to make a positive impact.”

HFC biology instructor Magidah Alaudi was overjoyed to hear that her former student is going to medical school.

“Mohammad encompassed a passion for his education from the very beginning!” said Alaudi. “His exposure to the biological sciences was during COVID-19, as we were all adjusting to online learning. Despite the hurdles he faced, I knew he was extremely passionate about learning and enriching himself. We would extend our meetings to discuss many of the topics covered in class, even beyond the scope of our course. I am elated to hear that although his learning began virtually, he continued to push through to pursue his passion.”

She continued: “I am so proud of all he has done. Students like Mohammad are the reason I have dedicated my life to higher education – and because of this, I am truly honored to have been a small part of his journey. I believe that his compassion and empathy will be an enormously impactful addition to the medical field. Congratulations to Mohammad on all his wonderful achievements!”

Related Content: HFC alumnus Mohammad Turaani’s Wayne State University graduation video