MEEKER I Pioneers Medical Center (PMC) is welcoming a new general surgeon this week as Dr. Mohammad Asem Bakkar, who prefers the use of his middle name, Asem, began seeing patients on Wednesday.
Bakkar, 46, comes to Meeker after spending six years in a surgical residency with Maricopa Integrated Health Systems in Phoenix, Ariz.
Bakkar’s training and specialties there were open appendectomies, colon and rectal surgeries, various hernia repairs, thyroidectomies and gall bladder and stomach surgeries. He also specialized in small town general surgery training, according to hospital Chief Executive Officer Ken Harman, who said he is very excited to have Bakkar here.
Harman says, “We are so fortunate to find such a talented and super well-trained surgeon who was looking for a rural hospital practice in our neck of the woods. We liked his personality and Asem has long-term ties here.
“He went to undergraduate school at the University of Wyoming, has family in the area and considers the Derby Creek area north of Dotsero, on the southeastern edge of the Flat Tops, his favorite hunting ground. We could hardly be more enthusiastic about him.”
Bakkar went to high school in Lynnwood, Wash., just north of Seattle, where he was an Eagle Scout. After majoring in information management systems at the University of Wyoming and putting in a six-year stint as a sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps, he worked for an information technology company, largely out of the Denver area, for 10 years. Bakkar reports that he has brothers, cousins and an uncle who also served in the U.S. Marine Corps.
Feeling unfulfilled, Bakkar took the necessary prerequisite courses through Arapahoe Community College and then entered medical school at the University of Sint Eustatius School of Medicine in the Dutch Caribbean, a satellite of The Netherlands. The school changed its name to the American University of Integrated Sciences and moved to the Dutch Caribbean country of St. Maarten in 2013, after Bakkar had graduated.
The school is an American university with an American management company and board leadership comprised of healthcare business and non-profit professionals from across the U.S., according to online sources. After at least 20 months of intense study on campus, Bakkar said students complete their M.D.s through clinical clerkships in healthcare facilities across the U.S. and Canada.
Bakkar completed his clinical rotations at the Northern Colorado Medical Center in Greeley and the Medical Center of the Rockies in Loveland. He was then off to his surgical residency at the Maricopa County facility.
Bakkar will offer a wide range of surgery services at PMC. In addition to the surgeries listed above, his talents include minimally invasive laparoscopic procedures as well as burn and wound services including skin grafting.
Harman indicated that he expects Bakkar will spend 40 to 50 percent of his time doing colonoscopies, in addition to the other procedures, breast cancer surgeries and reconstructions, and some tonsillectomies.
It’s also expected that through Bakkar, PMC will offer laser body re-sculpting.
For his part, Bakkar said he has “always felt that patients are people, not just numbers, and I am a person, not just a phone number in the book. Rural medicine is the ability to provide professional services to a community under the grounds of relationship medicine. ”
Bakkar’s wife, Bonnie, who is finishing up her nursing degree in Phoenix, will join him here later this year. He said he’s already made an offer on a house in Sage Hills.
Bakkar said he and Bonnie have two kids who are planning to finish the school year in Phoenix but to enroll in Meeker schools this fall.