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  • Tuesday, April, 2022| Today's Market | Current Time: 11:26:10
  • SKMC’s Dr. Shaden Abdelhadi shares the story of her prolific career and how support from SEHA is helping women working in healthcare achieve their dreams

    Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA), the UAE’s largest healthcare network, is continuing with its efforts to propel the careers of young and ambitious female doctors.

    Setting an example of perseverance and sheer determination, coupled with excellence in her field, is Dr. Shaden Abdelhadi, FRCP (Edin), FAAD is an internationally trained Emirati Pediatric Dermatologist specializing in human genetic skin disorders at the Genetic Pediatric Dermatology Unit at Sheikh Khalifa Medical City (SKMC), part of SEHA.

    Dr. Abdelhadi said: “To women in medicine, I urge you to continue persevering, irrespective of the challenges you may encounter. Forge ahead and never lose sight of the patients whose health we strive to better every single day. I consider myself supremely lucky to have received the right support during my career. I joined SEHA in 2005 as a Staff Physician in the Department of Medicine at SKMC. The tremendous support I have received in terms of training, access to opportunities and resources, played a major contributing role in where I stand today as a dermatologist.”

    One of the most respected medical professionals working in her area of expertise, Dr. Abdelhadi acknowledges how education has shaped her career. “I consider it an absolute privilege to have had such an extensive education. From becoming a Department of Health (DoH) Specialist through the Arab Board Dermatology Residency Program at SKMC in 2012, to gaining clinical training experience at the Children’s Hospital of Washington University in Seattle, and St. Thomas’ Hospital in London, every step has added a new dimension to my clinical understanding.

    “Gaining the Postgraduate Belgium Board Certificate in Pediatric Dermatology (2017) and the Interdisciplinary Board Certificate in Human Medical Genetics (2018) were both challenges that bolstered my self-confidence. In my line of work, real-world experience is an absolute necessity, and I am truly grateful for having received it through my fellowships with the Royal College of Physicians, Edinburgh; American Academy of Dermatology; European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology; and the European Society of Pediatric Dermatology.”

    Dr. Abdelhadi is currently a member of the International Society of Pediatric Dermatology and a member of the Editorial Board of Dermatologic Therapy, one of Europe’s leading scientific publications. She was recently elected to the UAE Dermatology Specialty Committee, which is leading the future of postgraduate education in dermatology in the UAE.

    Despite having reached the zenith of professional success, Dr. Abdelhadi maintains there is no greater joy than to teach. “What use is a wealth of knowledge if one isn’t willing to share it? I am currently an Assistant Professor of Dermatology at the College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Khalifa University in Abu Dhabi, and a core faculty member at the Arab Board Dermatology Residency Program at SKMC. I thrive on the discussions I have with my students; it keeps adding a fresh perspective to my understanding of medicine.

    “I am passionate about disseminating national and international education in the treatment of pediatric dermatology and pediatric genetic skin diseases. In my opinion, medical education never ceases, you must constantly keep yourself updated. Since 2016, I have been the  co-founder and Vice President of several annual international pediatric dermatology conferences precisely for this reason.”

    Dr. Abdelhadi is a leading figure in helping SEHA deliver excellence in healthcare. She has been instrumental in efforts to have the Arab Board Dermatology Residency Program at SKMC accredited by the American Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), making it the world’s second US accredited dermatology residency program outside the USA. Furthermore, she also set up the UAE’s first Multidisciplinary Epidermolysis Bullosa Center.

    Speaking about the immense support she has received at SEHA, Dr. Abdelhadi said: “SEHA has played a key role in my training and supported my ambition of becoming a uniquely specialized physician. With SEHA being a leader in medical education, I believe I can work closely with the National Institute of Health Sciences in better planning the medical specialties and sub-specialties the UAE needs.”

    Dr. Abdelhadi’s route to success, however, has not been without challenges, with slow and bureaucratic processes, changing priorities and decisions all hurdles that needed to be overcome.

    “There is no success without challenges,” she said. “To all the budding female doctors in the region, I hope my journey serves as a reminder that nothing is impossible if you have enough perseverance.”

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