Many of the medical students of all the Medical Universities in Romania have made a summer training course for First Aid at Targu Mures, the place where Raed Arafat began building a system of Emergency Medicine, SMURD (The Mobil System of Emergency, Resuscitation and Extrication).
We didn’t work directly with him, but we saw him acting during the emergency interventions. We were all looking at him with great admiration, even then when SMURD was a local system; Raed Arafat had already become a legend.
We were making the courses with two members of his team, very well prepared and very serious about their job. Everyone in his team was like this because a great man can make a great team. There I learned something simple, but essential in medicine, especially in Emergency medicine, always following the protocol.
And I think this is how Raed Arafat succeeded, because now SMURD is a national system, he has always followed the “protocol”, the steps are clear, without making any exception from quality of work.
Of course Raed Arafat is not Romanian by birth, but he proved to be “very” Romanian when doing something for the benefit of all Romanians.
A New York Times article, written in troubled times for Romania, was published in February 10, 2012 as an eulogy of Raed Arafat:
““At its best, the system is better than what we have, and at its worst it’s certainly still better than what exists in lots of States,” said Peter Gordon, an emergency physician at Bassett Medical Center in Cooperstown, N.Y., who worked over the course of nearly a decade with Dr. Arafat and helped him building the system.
“His attitude is, ‘We can do it better than anywhere in the world,’ ” Dr. Gordon said. “It’s, ‘Let’s not be as good as the Germans, as good as the French, let’s be even better.’ ””
The New York Times: February 10, 2012