We chose to stay

Spring 2022

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), around 40 percent of Lebanon’s doctors and 30 percent of nurses left the country between October 2019 and November 2021. Exacerbating the loss, nearly all recent medical school graduates have landed jobs abroad, according to the Head of Lebanon’s Order of Physicians, Charaf Abou Charaf. Astonishingly, many courageous and committed healthcare professionals at AUBMC—even though they could have left—have chosen to stay. We asked a few to share their thoughts.

“After the pandemic hit, I was fortunate to hold a job that allowed me to contribute to the health and wellbeing of my community at AUB as well as the larger Lebanese community… I wouldn’t have wanted to be serving anywhere else.”
Dr. Carine Sakr, assistant professor of clinical specialty, Department of Family Medicine

“AUBMC is the beacon of health and will always be.”
– Dr. Samer Deeba, clinical assistant professor, Department of Surgery

“Weekly, I receive offers, and I turn them down. The country, I still believe in it, and I love it despite everything happening.”
– Nurse Nayla Abi Younes, nurse leader for clinical affairs

“There are a lot of direct reasons to leave the country, but staying is chiefly because of the love we have for the country, and the family roots we have. AUB has helped financially as much as possible, which has lessened the financial blow.”
– Dr. Pierre Bou Khalil, professor of clinical medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, and associate director of Graduate Medical Education

AUBMC shaped who I am today and taught me how to stand strong in the face of all the challenges and obstacles. Healthcare professionals come and go, but the solid structure that governs and defines AUBMC remains the same.
– Nurse Maya Nizam, project manager, Nursing Administration

“I’ve been through rougher times in Lebanon, and the country bounced back. The main factor, though, is that I invested so much at AUB and built/established several programs that I simply cannot desert. AUBMC is one of the few places in Lebanon where hope never dies. People with the ‘can do’ attitude are everywhere at AUBMC and inspire others to persevere.”
Dr. Ghassan Dbaibo, professor, Department of Pediatrics and
Adolescent Medicine