For 70 years, Valley Children’s doctors have been dedicated to serving the children and families of the Central Valley. This Doctors' Day, we’re proud to celebrate the contributions of Valley Children’s physicians in caring for kids throughout Central California.
In recognition of Doctors’ Day, we caught up with Dr. Faisal Razzaqi, pediatric hematologist/oncologist and chief of staff of Valley Children’s Medical Staff, to learn more about what inspires him and why working with children is so meaningful to Valley Children’s doctors.
Meet Dr. Razzaqi
Board certified in pediatrics and pediatric hematology and oncology, Dr. Faisal Razzaqi joined Valley Children’s in December 2009 as a pediatric hematologist/oncologist. His primary interests include acute myelogenous leukemia (AML), lymphomas, histiocytic disorders and sickle cell disease. In addition to his work with pediatric hematology/oncology, Dr. Razzaqi currently serves as Valley Children’s Medical Staff Chief of Staff. A lover of sports, he has played competitive ice hockey, soccer and football. He enjoys reading, writing poetry and traveling.
What does it mean to you to be a doctor at a children’s hospital?
When children have an illness, it is the most stressful time for a parent. It is the ultimate privilege to have parents trust us with the health of their children. It is something that I don’t take lightly and am honored to work at a children’s hospital.
Why did you go the pediatrics route?
I enjoy the interaction with children and their families. In some ways, it is easier to take care of children because everyone is committed to their health. Other times it can be challenging, but overall the satisfaction of helping a child through an illness is immense.
What inspires you?
I have been fortunate to have the support of my family throughout my career and they are my inspiration. However, my motivation, especially here at Valley Children’s, is to make sure that every child that I care for has the best care possible. Our patients and their families face so many challenges, and being worried about whether their care is appropriate or not should not be one of those concerns. I want them to know that their child’s health will always be the focus of my care.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced as a pediatric hematologist/oncologist?
The biggest challenges are the emotional ones. Unfortunately, not every outcome is a good outcome and those moments can be very difficult. However, the challenges I face pale in comparison to those faced by families and each obstacle is motivation for me to improve outcomes.
Any favorite moments you can recall at Valley Children’s?
I have many favorite experiences: [pediatric emergency medicine physician] Dr. Insco and I being splattered with paint by patients several years ago, my annual trip to the Raiders game with oncology patients, doing Fortnite dances or TikTok videos with patients, the list goes on. Another special moment for me was winning Valley Children’s Physician of the Year, which was such an honor because that’s an award voted upon by my physician colleagues. All these moments stand out in my memory because they highlight that, despite the seriousness of our medical care, we physicians find joy in our work.
What have you learned from kids?
The main thing I learned from patients is that what we consider important is not what they think is important. I’ve tried to ask the kids what it is they have questions or concerns about and address those issues. While parents may be concerned about medications/chemotherapy, kids will want to know if they can still hang out with their cousins or play sports. As pediatricians, we really need to get into the minds of our patients in order to provide the best care.
This Doctors’ Day, please join us in celebrating all physicians who care for children and their families. Show your appreciation and thank a doctor today on social media using the hashtag #nationaldoctorsday.