January 3, 2018

Resident and fellow graduate turned faculty member has a heart for giving

Pictured: Dr. Mahir Elder

Mahir Elder, M.D., Res. '02, Fel. '05, Fel. '06, a successful interventional cardiologist, Wayne State School of Medicine faculty member and assistant program director for the Interventional Fellowship, recently established the Mahir Elder, M.D., Endowed Scholarship in the School of Medicine.

Dr. Elder views scholarship support as a critical part of student success. "Increasingly, I think every student will need some type of assistance. The journey through medicine is a long road with many financial obstacles along the way," said Dr. Elder. "If students receive scholarship support, it becomes a pivotal point in their life and allows them to concentrate on studying."

Throughout his time working with the School of Medicine, Dr. Elder has appreciated the special character of medical students he has educated and trained.

"Wayne State has a lot to be proud of," Dr. Elder said. "When I see the students, I see a diverse background of people who represent the state and the nation. It's very motivating. The Wayne State students are like family. It's inspiring to see them go on to represent all different specialties all over the country."

Dr. Elder views the urban clinical environment as a reason for the representation of Wayne State alumni across all areas of medicine. He credits the School of Medicine's values as one of the reasons alumni have such a powerful impact in the communities they serve.

"Without a doubt I am convinced that what students experience here in the city of Detroit allows them to have a well-cultured understanding in medicine. The WSU School of Medicine education is not just about the books and studies, but it's also about interacting with the community, which makes it a rich education," said Dr. Elder.

The School of Medicine's focus on serving the underserved populations is also one of the reason why Dr. Elder has remained loyal to Wayne State.

"During medical school, I had the opportunity to interact with WSU programs and I fell in love with the comradery. I then decided to do my residency at Wayne State," said Dr. Elder. "One of my favorite things about working in Detroit and serving the inner-city populations is the opportunity to greatly impact the patients in need."

As a self-described physician of the people, Dr. Elder has dedicated his career to helping the underserved populations in the Detroit area. His secret to success: "From the start of my practice, my philosophy has been that I will accept everyone despite financial concern. The key to my career has been taking care of patients first and foremost. If physicians focus on the patients, the business plan will fall into place."

The School of Medicine's ideals align with Dr. Elder's own thoughts on addressing health disparities and impacting the community.
"I share the mission statement's philosophy," Dr. Elder said. "If we all share that commitment, everyone wins." Dr. Elder is the only physician to receive the Health Care Hero award twice by Crain's magazine. He has also been named Top Doc by Hour Detroit for seven years in a row.

Dr. Elder's thoughts on caring for patients resonate with his philanthropic goals. He hopes to continue to give back to the School of Medicine throughout his career, and he encourages other physicians to do the same.

"Even if it seems like a small drop in the bucket, it helps. As philanthropists we have to set up something that will continue to grow and increase funding to help the next generation," said Dr. Elder.

To learn more about supporting medical student education and giving to the School of Medicine, contact Kelley Denk at kdenk@med.wayne.edu or 313-577-0355.

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