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Dr. Samia Al Habib Leaving a Mark

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Our one-on-one with researcher, doctor and educator.


Leaving a mark in the medical research field is no walk in the park, it requires years of dedication, education and passion.

Q1: Would you kindly introduce yourself to us?
A mother of three, a consultant and family physician with 26 years of experience in the medical field.

Q2: Will you tell us about your studies?
I’ve been in the UK for about 6 years. I did my master’s in primary health care at King’s College London, and did my postgraduates as well at Oxford University. I then received my PhD from the University of Bristol. All-in-all, that is three qualifications in six years.

DSCF2185Q3: What are some of the obstacles you faced while being abroad?
Being abroad with children was very hard. The culture and social life were also a bit difficult. In Saudi we are used to being social and connected, and I really missed that. However, the compensation was the fact that I was receiving higher qualifications and fuller self-esteem.

Q4: Did you have a certain goal in mind during your studies abroad?
Yes, one of my small goals was to finish my postgraduate studies to become a consultant. I also aimed to become a high quality researcher and enhance the research field in my country. My ultimate goal is to lead the research sector in Saudi, and it is up to them how they use my skills.

Q5: What is next for you?
I’d like to further increase my skills and change the teaching method of medical schools in Saudi. I would like it to become a self-learning program, similar to the medical programs in the UK. I also want integrate myself into the academic field, more than clinical and research. I’d like to have an influence on the teaching curriculum for the undergraduate students.DSCF2187

Q6: If people want to acquaint themselves with your work, where can they find it?
I’m an expert working with the World Health Organization on a project called Global Burden of Disease. This project is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and I’ve been working with them on that for the past four years. I’d like to introduce the program here in Saudi, but it’s a bit difficult because funding is one of the main problems. Also, my PhD is in British library on the effect of domestic violence, especially on Saudi women. I couldn’t do that here so I did it in the UK. I’ve also given a few free lectures at King Abdulaziz Public library as part of volunteer work, and I was recently given the title of advisor for the Saudi Medical Council. I was also assigned a society called Burhan. Its main goal is to increase knowledge about evidence-based healthcare. I was the deputy.

Twitter: samia_uk

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