He is known in the medical field as a medical biographer, and noted for his role as founder of institutional research in the history of medicine and health heritage. He founded several organizations – governmental and non-governmental, including Traditional Medicine Research Institute in the National Council for Research (1981), WHO Collaborating Centre for Research in Traditional Medicine (1984), Sudan Medical Heritage Foundation (2005). Prof El Safi also broke new grounds by establishing Maharat Medical Training Centre as a unique non-governmental high skills centre for medical training (2010). He published his first book in English in 1967. He wrote over 17 books and over a hundred profile and several articles in English and Arabic on health systems, history of Sudanese medicine, Anesthesiology and health culture.
Prof. El Safi has been President of the Sudan Society of Anesthesiology (2014-2016), and President of the Sudanese Writers Union (2014).