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WOMEN IN THE SPOTLIGHT AT AL RAFFAH HOSPITAL SOHAR

A patient of Dr. Ayida, General Surgeon at Al Raffah Hospital, Sohar, can consider themselves to be very lucky. Their health is in the hands of a truly committed surgeon, a surgeon who cares not only for how they are doing physically but also emotionally. She explains that a surgeon cannot just switch off at the end of a long shift, once you have operated on a patient they trust you and you must be ready to be called on at any time. Annual leave, sick leave and holidays or meaningless when it comes to looking after a patient. As a surgeon she understands that she is the beginning and end of care for her patients, she is the one who offers them solace and comfort. Her eyes are the last ones they see before they go to sleep on the operating table and the first ones they see when they come round post operation. This sense of continuity is what reassures her patients and gives them confidence that they are going to be well.

To know more about her expertise read on.
A career in surgery has significant lifestyle implications: it comes with huge responsibility, irregular work hours and extensive commitment. Would you say this is true to you?
Yes definitely. As a surgeon I have a very strong sense of commitment to my patients, I care about how they are doing, not only mentally but emotionally as well. It is difficult to switch off from my work after a long shift, once I have operated on a patient I would hope that we have a built up a level of trust whereby they feel they can call on me when needs be. This can play havoc with annual leave and holidays but I know that as a surgeon my work has to come first and the health of my patients will always be my priority. I need to be constant in the care of my patients; it is my eyes which are the last ones they see before they go to sleep on the operating theatre and the first ones they see when they come round post operation. I believe that this sense of continuity will reassure them and give them the confidence that they are going to get well.

What attracted you to a career in surgery? What route did you take to specialize?

I received my MD from AGU (Arabian Gulf University) in Bahrain. It was during my time at my studies that I became passionate about the study of Anatomy and the Human Body. I have a strong belief system and a great faith in Allah. I have a strong sense of wonder of the uniqueness of the human canvas above all other living things. As a young student, I was struck by the satisfaction that the qualified surgeons gleaned from their work. To watch as patients walked out of hospital following surgery with a renewed vigor and free from pain was mesmerizing to me . It is this which drove me to become a surgeon . The immediate job satisfaction I receive gives me the kind of feeling that I believe would be difficult to match in any other discipline. In 2003, having finished my internship and having served my time as a General PractitionerI finally realized my dream to begin the journey to become the best surgeon I could be. And iam fulfilling my dreams in Al Raffah hospital , Sohar

As the only female surgeon  available in the whole Al bathina region there must be a lot of satisfaction in being able to help the community there.It is such a densely populated area, what challenges come your way on a day to day basis ?

Having a strong sense of community, I feel compelled to give back to the people of the Al bathina region as much as I can. I work actively with the NACA (National Association in Cancer Awareness) to educate women about completing a self-breast examination once a month. This as a continuation of my role as an advocate of women and women’s health. I believe it to be crucial to women to have a female ear to listen to their problems and concerns. Many women can feel too embarrassed or intimidated to bring their personal health problems to a male doctor, particularly if it concerns problems with the breast or private areas. I know of too many heartbreaking cases whereby a woman presents herself with advanced stage breast cancer which now requires a total mastectomy. Had she felt comfortable to come at an earlier stage the disease could have been treated through less invasive means.

I am extremely proud to working at Al Raffah Hospital, sohar where women’s health is seen as a key priority. We have our female doctors working side by side their male counterparts to ensure that all patients have the confidence to acquire the best healthcare they can irrespective of gender. There are now no excuses for women not to look after themselves and prioritize their health. I am very excited to be working with pioneers in Laparoscopic surgery including Dr. Mansoor Dar and Dr.S. Mathew who is a visiting consultant at Al Raffah hospital Sohar. I can honestly say that it is the smile I see on my patients faces following a successful surgery as being the force that drives me.

Do you see a lot of women coming through your doors? What types of illnesses are they presenting with?

Yes, In al Raffah hospital sohar We deal with so many different health problems at our hospital and we treat a great variety of illnesses including breast lumps/cancers, colorectal cases such as hemorrhoids, fistula in ano, fissure in ano and Pilonidal sinus. I see patients with hernias, different lumps in the body ,gall stones and varicose veins, to name but a few. Recently Ieven had one patient ,who required a abdomenoplasty along with the repair of her hernia with beautiful results.

Do you have any advice for young medical students now considering a career in surgery?

I would say that as surgeons we need to place a lot of love and pride in our work. Our number one priority must always be our patients above all else and we must be prepared to give our total commitment to them. The smile from a patient following a successful surgery along with their prayers of thanks for their health and for us will be the biggest and only reward we need.