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December 8, 2015
When Dr. Manal AlNaimi left her native Saudi Arabia to train in the subspecialty of thoracic surgery at London Health Sciences Centre and the Schulich School of Medicine at Western University she knew that she would break new frontiers. She would begin a three year chapter in her life in a new country and upon completion of her training she would return home and to King Fahad Specialist Hospital in Dammam as the first female thoracic surgeon in Saudi Arabia.
A trained general surgeon who practiced in her native Saudi Arabia, Dr. AlNaimi was drawn to thoracic surgery because of the surgical and medical challenge the subspecialty offers including a specific interest in thoracic oncology. “It is not uncommon for females to practice medicine in Saudi Arabia. I am just opening a frontier in this subspecialty. I have many female mentors who have guided my career and I plan on encouraging other women to pursue thoracic surgery.”
Mentorship has played an important role in Dr. AlNaimi’s career and she is humbled by the support she has received from her family and friends, mentors, and her government, which provides scholarship support to students who train abroad. “At LHSC I have witnessed excellence being practiced everyday by skilled surgeons, nurses and nurse practitioners,” says Dr. AlNaimi. Her training is directly applicable to her practice at King Fahad Specialist Hospital. “I will apply everything I have learned from these talented professionals and friends and provide the best and most consistent care for my patients possible.”
“It is bittersweet to be leaving,” adds Dr. AlNaimi. “I will miss my colleagues, and I will miss Canada, but maybe not the winters.”
From left, Drs. Dalilah Fortin, Eric Frechette, and Richard Inculet bid goodbye to Dr. Manal AlNaimi as she departs LHSC to become the first female thoracic surgeon in Saudi Arabia.