Global Five Star Doctor: Suha Hamshari

Global Five Star Doctor 2023

Dr Suha Hamshari: Visionary Family Doctor and Educator

Head of the Palestinian Association of Family Medicine.
Assistant Professor at An-Najah National University, Nablus.

The World Organization of Family Doctors (WONCA) is proud to spotlight Dr. Suha Hamshari as the distinguished recipient of the 2023 WONCA Global Five Star Doctor Award. Dr. Hamshari, a beacon of excellence in family medicine, education, and healthcare advocacy in Palestine, graciously accepted her award through a heartfelt video message during the WONCA conference in Sydney, October 2023. Her remarkable journey and contributions underscore the resilience and dedication required to navigate the unique challenges of practicing medicine in a region faced with significant adversities.

Unyielding Dedication Amidst Adversity

Dr. Hamshari's path to becoming a family doctor is a story of remarkable perseverance. Graduating from the only Family Medicine residency in the Occupied Territories of Palestine in 2015, her medical school journey was punctuated by the challenges of the heightened violence in her region. On occasions, the city of Nablus's lockdown forced her to resort to riding a donkey to attend her classes, illustrating her unwavering commitment to her education and future patients.

A Visionary in Medical Education and Patient Care

Dr. Suha Hamshari's visionary leadership led to the establishment of the first family medicine clinic at An-Najah National University. This clinic serves as a model for comprehensive primary healthcare, offering a range of services to patients of all ages. By integrating family medicine into the curriculum and providing hands-on training, Dr. Hamshari has contributed to the growth and recognition of this vital field in Palestine. Her efforts towards securing international medical education accreditation through TEPDAD highlight her commitment to elevating medical education standards in Palestine.

Championing Family Medicine and Continuing Education

Dr. Hamshari's contributions extend beyond her roles in academia and clinic leadership. After completing her residency, she joined the residency faculty, playing a crucial role in crafting the curriculum and coordinating a virtual tutoring program sponsored by the UK NGOs Foundation of Family Medicine for Palestine (FFMP) and Medical Aid to Palestinians (MAP). This initiative underscores her dedication to enhancing the educational resources available to family medicine residents.

As a founding member of the Palestinian Association of Family Medicine (PAFM) in 2016, Dr. Hamshari has been a driving force behind organizing three international conferences and developing a continuing education program for family physicians in Palestine, including those in Gaza. Her leadership as the first female head of the association in the Palestinian general medical society marks a historic milestone for women in healthcare leadership roles.

International Collaboration for Local Impact

Dr. Hamshari's work is also characterised by her international collaborations, which have significantly contributed to the development of family medicine in Palestine. Partnering with British doctors, she has co-organized numerous workshops for medical faculty, residents, and students. Her partnership with a US Fulbright scholar from 2019 to 2022 facilitated faculty development and resulted in several published manuscripts on international collaboration in family medicine.

Dr. Hamshari represents the Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMRO) in WONCA's Organizational Equity Commitee (OEC). Her role allows her to collaborate with international peers, sharing knowledge and advocating for the advancement of family medicine on a global scale. Additionally, her active involvement in the WONCA Women Party underscores her dedication to the empowerment of women in healthcare. By championing women's rights and inclusion in the medical field, Dr. Hamshari inspires female doctors worldwide to break barriers and achieve excellence.

A Legacy of Leadership and Inspiration

Dr. Hamshari's journey from navigating the challenges of medical education during a period of intense conflict to becoming a global advocate for family medicine is a testament to her resilience, expertise, and leadership. Her pursuit of a Master's degree in Medical Education at Dundee University, supported by a scholarship, further exemplifies her commitment to lifelong learning and advancement in her field.

WONCA proudly recognizes Dr. Suha Hamshari for her exceptional contributions to family medicine, medical education, and healthcare advocacy. Her passion, leadership, and dedication continue to inspire and shape the future of healthcare in Palestine and beyond, embodying the true spirit of a WONCA Global Five Star Doctor.

Dr Suha Hamshari's Acceptance Speech