Zainab Mahmoud, MD, Inc.

Dr. Zainab Mahmoud is a family physician and owner of a new family practice with a focus on adolescent and adult primary care. Her office provides a wide range of services from chronic disease management to women’s health and general examinations, as well as minor office procedures. Dr. Mahmoud has been in practice for almost nine years. She attended medical school in her native Sudan, East Africa, and then completed family medicine training at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland before relocating with her family to Southern California.

What or who inspired you to work in the field of health care?

“Growing up, I was greatly influenced by my father, who was an internist and a cardiologist. The concern he showed his patients and the dedication he had for their care was truly inspiring. He developed lasting friendships that continued into his retirement. That, coupled with my love of learning and finding answers and problem-solving, resulted in my choosing a career in medicine.”

What is your favorite thing about being a physician?

“What I like best about family medicine is the longitudinal relationships I am able to form with my patients—often having the privilege of caring for entire families, which provides me with a unique vantage point and allows me to tailor each patient’s medical care to suit their specific needs. I also enjoy being a lifelong learner, since the field of medicine is ever-evolving. I believe it is imperative to learn something new every day as I continue to practice medicine.”

Would you describe your approach as holistic?

“Yes. A great focus of mine is whole-person care and the mind-body connection. There are many factors that make us well. Modern medicine, while successful in treating mainstream illnesses, is still developing in the area of the mind’s effects on our feeling of wellness. We should acknowledge the variations of what wellness means to each patient and how to achieve it. I try to explore and achieve this with each of my patients.”

How does technology enhance the patient experience?

“Technology provides better connectivity between physician and patient. It helps us maintain more accurate records for each patient and is a great resource for information for patients. At our office, we collect patients’ health history electronically. We plan to add a patient portal in the future as well.”

Tell us about recent developments in your field.

“I think the most important development is the emerging role of normal levels of essential nutrients like vitamins in the state of wellness. We are also finding out that certain health conditions predispose a patient to low vitamin levels due to problems with extraction from the dietary intake and absorption.”

What can parents do to instill a lifestyle of health AND wellness in their children from a young age?

“They can provide a healthy diet rich in proteins, fruits and vegetables and ensure that children get regular exercise to maintain a healthy weight and help bone and muscle development. In addition, I would suggest the importance of mindfulness in helping children maintain a healthy state of mind and providing them with coping skills to manage the inevitable stresses of daily life. The practice of mindfulness was recently introduced to my son at school, and I can see the wonderful benefits it gave him.”

How do you give back and support those in need?

“I always try to give back to those in need and to teach my son the importance of kindness and helping those less fortunate. We recently volunteered to help feed the homeless population in Los Angeles. It was a wonderful experience for the both of us.”

Tell us about your family.

“I share office space with my wonderful husband, Husam Elias, MD, who is also an extraordinary oral and maxillofacial and cosmetic surgeon and father. We have a beautiful, funny little boy, Nadir. I treasure the time I spend with my family when I am not working, and I am ever thankful for the support and love they give me.”

How do you maintain your own health and your family’s?

“I try to cook healthy meals daily and encourage regular exercise and activities as a family. I provide a safe environment for them to discuss any issues that may be sources of stress.”

Do you have a guilty pleasure?

“I do like to curl up with a good book, and I enjoy reading for hours when I can. It’s not the most rigorous activity, but it’s immensely gratifying.”