The third meeting of the Coptic Medical Society

fatherpigol The meeting started at 2PM at St Mary and Archangel Michael, Golders Green. Father Pigol, a monk from the Syrian monastery opened the meeting. He is in London on a training course. He talked about his work on the royal collection at the royal library in Windsor. His speciality is on restoring parchment paper and old books. His aim is to work on old Coptic and early Arabic manuscripts, to restore them. The oldest manuscript in the monastery dates from the 5th century and contains parts of the Old Testament. The old manuscripts are bound in the royal library on the same way as the earlier manuscripts in the monastery. He is also working on restoration of icons; some of them date back to the 13th century. He welcomes visitors to the Syrian monastery to see for themselves the work that is being done.

Essam DimitryMr Essam Dimitry, then talked about Sts Cosman and Demian. Two Coptic brothers From the 3rd century. They practiced medicine. They gained fame. They always prayed before they saw a patient. There is evidence that they actually transplanted a limb successfully and therefore are considered patron saints of surgeons. Sir William Osler sent the Mayo brothers an icon of the two saints when they opened their new clinic in the USA. There are many churches dedicated to their names in Germany, Rome and of course in the Mayo clinic. They were martyred in Dioclecian era because of their faith. They were quoted saying. “Doctors do what they can , but healing is from God”

gadelrab2Mr Ragai Gadelrab then explained his experience of treating patients in Egypt. He had to arrange for suitable instruments to be shipped first and ensure high standard of sterilisation of instruments locally before embarking on total knee replacement operations. All this was time consuming, but ensured the success of 85 replacement operations in a private hospital in Alexandria. He also visits a charitable hospital in Helwan.In 3 days, he may see up to 150 patients with various orthopaedic problems. Patients may be Copts or Moslems. Usually of limited means, but they all have great faith in the local Coptic hospital. He acknowledged the sensitivities that could exist with the local specialists. In all, hard work but enjoyable too.

studentsMary Boutros and Claire Raphael, two medical students talked about the role of medical students in the CMS. Student electives, visiting patients in hospitals, getting advice on their career prospects were highlighted as relevant issues. It was refreshing to see the second generation represented.

Tim Henderson, a doctor who has become a financial consultant, gave various helpful tips on financial matters for doctors. He can advise on investments, ISA’s, inheritance tax and many other things. Writing your will properly can save 100,000 paid otherwise to the taxman. Interested? His telephone no is 0207 744 1500, Fax 0207 744 6523

About Nabil Raphael

Dr Nabil Raphael is the President of the Coptic Medical Society.

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