Dr Fatema Kutiyanawala’s story, like that of all doctors, is one of hard work and determination, but more importantly it is about her resolve to continue her parents’ legacy. For the past twelve years, she has followed in her father’s footsteps to chair Sharjah’s Central Private Hospital.
Fatema was born to Dr Shakir and Dr Sherebanoo Nargis Vali in 1964, a daughter among sons. Their household in Sharjah buzzed with ambition, dedication and perhaps more importantly, freedom. Fatema clearly recalls that she and her brothers were never pushed in any particular direction: their calling would be determined by their own interest and inclination. But it was the daughter who gravitated towards the path of their father who managed a private clinic in the heart of Sharjah.
After completing an MD in Pathology in India, Dr Fatema’s journey led her further abroad. A Master’s in Gastric Cancer from Imperial College of England was followed by a Fellowship in Lymphoid Pathology from Harvard University in the United States and she found her way back to England, where she settled and began to practice. But something was missing.
In 2009, she made the decision to migrate back to the UAE and take the reins of her father’s clinic which had now grown to a 60-bed hospital. Maybe it was the priority her father had given to affordable, quality healthcare; maybe it was the sincerity with which he had nurtured relationships with his family of doctors and staff; maybe it was the way he had poured his heart and soul into each of his personal and professional affairs. Coming back to the point where it had all started has allowed and motivated her to honour Dr Shakir’s vision, teachings and ideals.
Dr Fatema has played an instrumental role in nearly every one of the hospital’s affairs and now earnestly awaits the addition of a new joint facility to its existing structure. Father, mother, brothers – all take pride in her achievements.