Volume 20 | issue nº 1 Spring 2018

Honoring the Giants of Medicine

By Dana K. Haffar

More in this issue

The School of Medicine honors its physicians and celebrates the Clinical Simulation Center's international accreditation

Among Lebanon’s most valuable resources are its medical professionals. And LAU acts as a crucible of the country’s best and brightest in the field. 

In that spirit, the Gilbert and Rose-Marie Chagoury School of Medicine hosted a ceremony celebrating the work of clinicians, teachers and innovators affiliated with LAU who have made their mark on the field of medicine.

“We are here to honor and recognize the physicians who have contributed tremendously to the various fields of medicine over the last half century. They continue to stand tall among us,” said Dean of the School of Medicine Dr. Michel Mawad of those receiving lifetime achievement awards. “These giants all have a common background, having started their careers at Rizk Hospital. They are superior in their competencies and have demonstrated exceptional diligence and perseverance.”

A total of 10 physicians and clinicians were honored, among them Dr. Zahi Hakim, a pioneer in radiology; LAU Medical Center-Rizk Hospital Nephrologist Dr. Antoine Stephan, who has dedicated his career to advancing organ and tissue donation and transplantation in the country; and Dr. Antoine Ghossain, professor of General Surgery, to whom Dr. Mawad paid special tribute as his former student. “Teaching new physicians holds a higher level of responsibility than any other in my opinion, and it is trickier to accomplish,” Mawad said. Other giants honored were Dr. Fouad Atik, Dr. Emile Brihi, Dr. Joe Hatem, Dr. Raymond Rizk, Dr. Elie Karame, Dr. Zeina Saba and Dr. Assaad Rizk.

The latter, president and director general of the Rizk Clinic for 48 years, gave a speech on the field of medicine and how it has changed since he began his career. “It is clear that the great progress made in all fields of medicine over two generations has served the patients of the current generation well,” said Dr. Rizk.

Mawad reiterated the mission of the School of Medicine to provide “competent, conscientious and ethical doctors for the community,” and the important role clinical care plays in shaping the doctors of the future. He referred to the assembled clinicians as “the epitome of commitment in teaching and providing care.”

That sentiment was echoed by Dr. Georges Ghanem, whose advancement to the position of clinical professor of Internal Medicine was celebrated at the event.

Ghanem, who is the first cardiologist in Lebanon to perform a MitraClip procedure without open-heart surgery, said, “The university provides students with the ability to master science and technique, and the hospital allows for a supportive real-world learning environment, and that’s where physicians will flourish.”

The ceremony also honored Dr. Vanda Abi Raad and her team at the Clinical Simulation Center (LAU-CSC), which was recently accredited by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. Newly appointed as the assistant dean for Continuing Medical Education, Abi Raad highlighted the opportunities provided by LAU-CSC. “Education doesn’t stop at the level of resident,” she said. “The Simulation Center supports and encourages ongoing training of students and faculty from the schools of medicine, nursing, pharmacy as well as the hospital’s clinicians.”

The ceremony was preceded by a retreat — the first of its kind — that brought together core university teaching faculty with full-time physicians to create a single unified vision for patient care.