Meet CCH PGDip Graduate, Shaimaa Alasfour!
Shaimaa graduated from CCH in 2020 with a Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) in Obesity Care and Management (now Lifestyle Medicine). Since her graduation she has found fulfilment and happiness working at a health center, using her specialist training in obesity care to make a meaningful impact in the lives of her patients with obesity. Here we have interviewed her about the impact she is making with her postgraduate qualification from CCH.
Q: Hi, Shaima! Where do you work at the moment?
A: At the moment I work in the state of Kuwait, at the Al Nuzha Health Center.
Q: What profession do you work in?
A: I’m currently a consultant in family medicine at MRCGP International, and I specialise in obesity medicine and management as more of a subspecialty.
Q: Who are some of the patients you assist on a day-to-day basis?
A: On a day-to-day basis I deal with many different patients with a variety of diseases from acute to chronic, and also non-communicable conditions which affect all different age groups and ethnicities.
Q: What percentage of your patients have overweight or obesity?
A: It is well known that Kuwait has the highest prevalence of obesity in comparison with other regions in the Gulf. Also, obesity has a significant association to other chronic conditions such as diabetes melitus, hypertension, and so on. I can’t say definitively what percentage of my patients have an abnormally high BMI, but I would say it is more than 75-80% of them that do, and 90% of those patients have some sort of chronic disease from obesity which is why they’re visiting the clinic.
Q: Why did you choose to study obesity care and management?
A: You will be surprised to know that my first choice was to study geriatric care, but luckily, God chose the right path for my career and that was to help and assist with many people, but especially those who have undergone bariatric surgery, and children with obesity, many of whom suffer in silence. During the Covid-19 lockdowns, everyone was affected either mentally or physically, but I felt that children were most significantly affected, especially with weight regain. That is why I have become more focused on children. I want them to live normal and healthy lives without the risk of cardiovascular disease that childhood obesity can bring about.
Q: Why did you choose CCH?
A: There were many important reasons behind my decision to study with CCH. Firstly, I knew CCH could really increase my knowledge in this area, but I also knew they could help enhance my clinical skills as well. Upon studying with CCH, I really noticed an improvement in my critical thinking skills, and also how significantly improved my writing skills became!
Q: How did gaining your PGDip at CCH enhance the care that you provide to your patients?
A: I noticed positive changes during my fellowship in obesity management with Imperial College London especially at the multi-disciplinary team meetings and daily clinic attendance. It also increased my interest in childhood obesity.
Q: What is one of the biggest takeaways you gained from your PGDip as a health professional?
A: My PGDip has made me a lot more confident when treating people with obesity, and it’s also given me a real passion to do it as well!
Q: Would you encourage other health professionals to pursue a PGDip with CCH?
A: Yes, definitely! I would encourage anyone who is interested to go ahead and learn about the mystery of obesity and enrol with the CCH. You’ll start with the basics, and believe me, you will never want to stop until you’ve covered all aspects of obesity!
The College of Contemporary Health, in partnership with the University of Central Lancashire Medical School, offers the first, and only, fully online postgraduate qualifications (PGCert/PGDip/MSc) in Lifestyle Medicine (Obesity Care) not just for UK based students, but for students across the world, like Shaimaa in Kuwait.
We offer 3 student intakes per year starting in January, May, and September.