Title: Assistant Professor of Medicine
Company: Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Health
Location: Richmond, Virginia, United States
Somaya A. M. Albhaisi, Assistant Professor of Medicine at Virginia Commonwealth University Health, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Health Care Professionals for dedication, achievements, and leadership in researching liver disease and founding a COVID-19 database.
Since 2016, Dr. Albhaisi has flourished as a resident physician and assistant professor at Virginia Commonwealth University Health in Richmond, specializing in hepatology and liver disease, conducting clinical research in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease focusing on epidemiology, cirrhosis and transplantation.
In 2014, Dr. Albhaisi obtained her Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, summa cum laude, from Dubai Medical College in the United Arab Emirates, and thereupon served a residency in internal medicine with Sheikh Khalifa Medical City in Abu Dhabi. Upon immigrating to the United States, Dr. Albhaisi served a residency in categorical internal medicine with VCU.
Dr. Albhaisi has published articles in several peer-reviewed journals including the Encyclopedia of Gastroenterology, Springer Journal, Hepatology and the American Journal of Physiology-Gastroenterology Liver Physiology. Among her many honors, she is a two-time winner of the VCU Woman Making History Awardee for creating the COVID-19 Registry and for her work with a non-profit organization helping underprivileged students in Palestine, and a COVID-19 Rapid Research Funding Recipient and Excellence in Research Award, Department of Internal Medicine, Clinical Research Award, Division of Hospital Medicine, Hospitalist of the Month, Department of Internal Medicine, all from VCU.
Dr. Albhaisi’s many professional organizations include the American College of Gastroenterology, the Palestine Academy for Science and Technology, American Gastroenterological Association, American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases, American Medical Association and American College of Physicians.
Having had to put her dream of becoming a pathologist on hold due to visa issues, Dr. Albhaisi took an opportunity to work at Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center, but she is thankful because taking a different route led her to great achievements in the realm of clinical research, particularly in the field of fatty liver disease. She believes that the most successful people in the world are those who have failed and never gave up. Dr. Albhaisi was a refugee from Palestine who was born in the Gaza Strip. Throughout her life, she has experienced multiple challenges that stem from racial discrimination. Despite the difficulties, setbacks and learning experiences in life, she remembered her goal and persisted, not losing her faith that there is a reason for everything and her life has a purpose. Her phenomenal story has been the outcome of hard work, focus, and being in a nourishing environment. She is grateful for being surrounded by supportive mentors and colleagues.
As career highlights, Dr. Albhaisi points to her listing as a member spotlight under the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD), as well as creating and managing the COVID-19 registry, the first-ever registry at VCU, which will be utilized for future studies on the virus. In addition, she is working on a new technique that will help people lose weight to prevent the building up of fat in their liver, which causes liver disease and other complications.
Dr. Albhaisi’s long-term goal is to become a hepatologist. Over the next two years, she hopes to have built a sufficiently large database for her research on fatty liver disease to establish the Women’s Health Liver Center at VCU and attract funding for more studies on the disease. In 2022, she will have also finished her master’s program.
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