Advancing the Science

Mayo Clinic Medical Science Blog – an eclectic collection of research- and research education-related stories: feature stories, mini news bites, learning opportunities, profiles and more from Mayo Clinic.

October 1, 2019

Mayo researcher’s work focuses on health care safety and quality

By Advancing the Science contributor
Mohamed Seisa sits in a chair in Mayo's Plummer Library

From a young age, Mohamed Seisa, M.D., had a passion to study biology. His uncle was a pediatrician and his father was a physicist in Egypt, so Dr. Seisa grew up around science. In medical school, he worked in a lab and enjoyed research.

But while Dr. Seisa was a medical student, his father died. “He developed sepsis and was in the ICU for a month,” says Dr. Seisa, describing his motivation for pursuing improvements in critical care and anesthesiology. “I felt helpless and wish I could have done something.”

In 2013 Dr. Seisa was one of two medical students invited to present posters at the 18th International Conference on Continuous Renal Replacement Therapies (CRRT) in San Diego, California. Dr. Seisa’s research focused on acute kidney injury. Among those who Dr. Seisa encountered at the meeting was Kianoush Kashani, M.D., Division of Nephrology and Hypertension and Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at Mayo Clinic’s Rochester campus. Dr. Kashani was Dr. Seisa’s first in-person exposure to Mayo Clinic.

Within two years Dr. Seisa would be a research fellow at Mayo Clinic. First, he completed medical school and rotations in anesthesiology and cardiology as a visiting medical student at the University of Alabama in Birmingham’s University Hospital.

“In Egypt our training isn’t as advanced as in the U.S.,” says Dr. Seisa. “Training here is the best education available, and Mayo Clinic is one of the best in the world. It was a big honor to be invited to do research at Mayo Clinic. I was ecstatic. It’s an amazing, inspiring environment, and I work with the best physicians and researchers in the world. Mayo Clinic attracts people who really want to do something important.”

Dr. Seisa can count himself in that category of people. After only four years at Mayo Clinic, he’s earned the Mayo Clinic Alumni Association Edward C. Kendall Award for Meritorious Research. Now a postdoctoral research fellow in the Division of Preventive Medicine and a researcher in the Evidence-Based Practice Research Program, Mayo Clinic Robert D. and Patricia E. Kern Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery, Dr. Seisa is having an impact on others’ lives.

Since he joined the Evidence-Based Practice Research Program, Dr. Seisa has led and contributed to the use of evidence summaries by medical scientific societies including the American Society of Hematology and federal entities including the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). Mayo Clinic, through its Evidence-Based Practice Research Program, is one of only 12 institutions in North America designated and funded as an evidence-based practice center by AHRQ. Through this program, AHRQ became a science partner with private and public organizations in their efforts to improve the quality, effectiveness and appropriateness of health care by synthesizing the evidence and facilitating the translation of evidence-based research findings. Evidence reports generated by Mayo Clinic for AHRQ can be used for informing and developing coverage decisions, quality measures, educational materials and tools, clinical practice guidelines and research agendas.

Mayo Clinic attracts people who really want to do something important.

Mohamed Seisa, M.D.

Dr. Seisa’s research focuses on evidence synthesis including systematic review, meta-analysis and development of clinical practice guidelines — the foundation of evidence-based medicine. He has published 16 peer-reviewed papers and 12 scientific reports about research, some of which are highlighted below.

  • Sickle cell disease: Led 10 systematic reviews about the treatment of pain in sickle cell disease patients. Dr. Seisa’s work in this area is being used to develop clinical guidelines for effective pain management in sickle cell disease, which will lead to improvement in the quality of patient care and help to reduce health disparities.
  • Airway devices: Conducted a technology assessment to evaluate home mechanical ventilators, bilevel positive airway pressure (BPAP) devices and continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) devices in adult patients with chronic respiratory failure. The results of the study will help the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services develop policies and procedures for the devices used in home settings.
  • ICU intubation: Conducted a cross-sectional survey study of critical care physicians in academic and nonacademic centers nationally and internationally to determine intubation practice in ICUs. Dr. Seisa conducted this study as part of his involvement in HEMAIR (Hemodynamic and Airway Hemodynamic and Airway Consortium), a group of ICU physicians whose aim is to understand hemodynamic and airway management of tracheal intubations in the critically ill. His work in this area included a study to identify predictors of immediate hemodynamic decompensation during the pre-intubation period and a prospective crosssectional study of adult critically ill patients who needed endotracheal intubation. Dr. Seisa published the protocol for the multicenter, observational, prospective study of this project.

M. Hassan Murad, M.D., director of Mayo Clinic’s Evidence-Based Practice Center, says Dr. Seisa’s research will inform Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services policies. “He’s a highly productive and rigorous researcher whose mission is to produce evidence to make health care safer and of higher quality. Dr. Seisa is very goal oriented and dedicated to his work. He never says no to helping someone who wants to collaborate.”

Drs. Kashani and Murad, along with Nathan Smischney, M.D., Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine, sing a chorus of praise for Dr. Seisa’s work ethic.

“Dr. Seisa is diligent and motivated and has an intrinsic drive,” says Dr. Smischney. “His focus and resilience are tremendous.”

Now Dr. Seisa is focused on studying for board exams and determining where to apply for residency in anesthesiology. “I’m honored to receive the Kendall Award and feel blessed for the encouragement. As a physician-scientist, I want to do research and practice critical care medicine that makes a difference for very sick patients whose life-threatening illnesses require a quick response.”

This article was originally published in Mayo Clinic's Alumni Magazine, Issue 2, 2019.

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Tags: anesthesiology, cardiology, Education, Evidence-based Practice Center, hematology, hypertension, Kianoush Kashani, M. Hassan Murad, Mohamed Seisa, Nathan Smischney, nephrology, People, perioperative medicine, preventive medicine, pulmonary and critical care medicine, sickle cell disease

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