By Wendy Sarubbi | August 7, 2020 1:03 pm

As a young physician, Mustafa Kinaan helped build UCF’s new residency and fellowship programs. After five years of training, he’s staying in Greater Orlando to “care for the new family I love.”

This month, Dr. Kinaan joins Premier Endocrinology in Kissimmee and St. Cloud also begins work at Osceola Regional Medical Center as a faculty member in the UCF-HCA Healthcare endocrinology fellowship. There, he will train doctors on the best ways to care for patients with conditions like diabetes, thyroid and pituitary gland diseases. It’s fitting for a physician who often told fellow residents that his goal in life was to cure diabetes.

“Endocrinology is all about personalized care,” he said. “Diabetes is more than just giving your patient a pill. It’s working with patients to change their lifestyle – what they eat, their activity level. You spend more time with your patients and make deeper connections with them for life.”

Dr. Kinaan graduated from Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar and did clerkship rotations and research at Cornell University in New York. There, he fell in love with endocrinology because it combined his passions for basic science and patient care. In 2014, UCF selected him as a resident for its inaugural residency program in internal medicine that was a partnership between the College of Medicine, the Orlando VA Medical Center and Osceola Regional. That residency has since grown to 28 graduate medical education programs training almost 500 physicians across Florida.

After three years of caring for veterans and residents of Osceola County, one of Florida’s most diverse and fastest growing counties, Dr. Kinaan was selected as one of the program’s first chief residents. His responsibility – lead residents at one of the nation’s largest VA hospitals. “I have always had a passion for medical education,” he said. “I always learn better when I teach. Being chief was a fruitful opportunity to also learn about leadership, administration and to translate that into patient care for our nation’s veterans.” From there, he entered UCF’s endocrinology fellowship, a partnership between the medical school, HCA and the VA.

Dr. Suzanne Quinn-Martinez leads that fellowship. “When I met Dr. Kinaan as an internal medicine resident, we didn’t have an Endocrinology Fellowship yet,” she said. “He was such a great candidate, we just had to build a fellowship around him and he never disappointed. We couldn’t let him leave to train anywhere else. We couldn’t be happier that he is staying in Osceola County. What an asset to the neighborhood and the medical community. “

Doctors cannot care for patients immediately after they graduate from medical school. They must go first through residency training – three to seven years depending on the specialty. After residency, many go into fellowships for even more specialized training. Premier Endocrinology has been a strong clinical partner in training UCF-HCA residents and fellows.  Dr. Theresa Fynn, one of the owners of the practice, said Osceola County has an epidemic of Type 2 diabetes – in part because of the county’s large number of Hispanic residents, who are at high risk for the disease. She said the recent influx of residents from hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico has added to the community’s need for more endocrinologists. “When Dr. Kinaan was a fellow in our clinic, the patients loved him and kept asking when he was coming back. When we interviewed him he kept saying, ‘I want to be here and help this community.’”

Dr. Abdo Asmar, UCF’s vice chair of internal medicine who leads the Greater Orlando Internal Medicine residency program, said the College of Medicine and HCA are focused on recruiting, training and retaining outstanding physicians so that graduates of the residency and fellowship programs remain in the community to care for residents.

“This is why we started these programs,” Dr. Asmar said. “To bring more outstanding physicians to our community. “I couldn’t be happier. Whatever he does, Mustafa isn’t a sprinter, he’s a marathon runner. He is committed to building rapport and establishing long-term relationships with his patients. That’s what he loves.”

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