What we know about the Saudi woman cardiologist honored in New York

Published: Updated:

A Saudi woman cardiologist who works for the Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School was recently honored, along with 19 other Saudi women, by the Consulate General of Saudi Arabia in New York City.

Dr. Rasha Fahad Al-Bawardi was honored with 19 other Saudi women achievers by Saudi Consul General in New York Khalid Mohammad Al-Shareef. The ceremony, which took place as the world celebrated International Women’s Day, was attended by several consuls generals and diplomats.

Al-Bawardi was honored for her role in setting a great example for other Saudi women. She overcame numerous difficulties in medical school and found employment at Harvard University, one of the most prestigious institutions in the world. Today, she is a full-time professor at Harvard Medical School.

Thanking the Saudi mission in New York for giving her the award, Al-Bawardi said: “My mother taught us when we were little kids that there is nothing impossible and one can achieve anything they want if they set their minds to it.”

At a time when it was rare for foreign students to be admitted to US medical schools, Al-Bawardi secured a seat at George Washington University’s School of Medicine and Health Science due to her stellar academic credentials. She went on to earn an undergraduate degree in medical science and a graduate degree in genomics and bioinformatics from the same university. After that, she did her internship at Cleveland Clinic and then enrolled in Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York where she studied cardiology for three years.

“I conducted several research programs at the college. After that, I joined the Massachusetts General Hospital where I still work,” she said.

The scholarship program run by the Kingdom’s government allows Saudi students to realize their academic endeavors, said Al-Bawardi.

She added that she wants to serve her country by contributing to advancing medical research in the field of cardiology.

This article was first published in the Saudi Gazette.