The first meeting of the Society was held on Saturday, 30th June 2001 at St Mary and Archangel Michael Church, Golders Green, London. Father Mikhail Ibrahim prayed the Mass, light refreshments followed.
Father Mikhail welcomed the launch of the Society explaining that His Holiness Pope Shenouda has given His blessing to the venture. A letter of support was read from His grace Bishop Angelos.
Members discussed the aims of the Society, this included supporting each other, especially younger members, discussing ethical issues, supporting patients and Christian hospitals in Egypt, contacting various Coptic Medical Societies in other countries as well as promoting the spiritual health of members.
It was noted that in the 1920s in Egypt a group of Coptic doctors met together on a regular basis for fellowship and discussion. This group included El Menyawi Pasha and Naguib Mahfouz Pasha. On of the blessings of these meetings was the formation of the Coptic Hospital which remains to this day a centre of excellence in Cairo.
It was agreed to hold quarterly meetings on the last Saturday of each quarter. Mr Sabry Gabriel was elected Chair of the Society. Dr Nabil Raphael as Secretary and Mr Essam Dimitry as Treasurer. The following members were elected to the Council of the Society:
NameMr Sabry Gabriel Dr Nabil Raphael Mr Essam Dimitry Dr Meena Naguib Dr Isis Neoman Dr Raafat Gadelrab Miss Sarah Yanny Dr Ibrahim Habib Dr Waheeb Atia Dr George Yanni Dr Wasfy Yanny
ResponsibilityChairman Secretary Treasurer Stevenage Kensington London, Communication Students ,Young Graduates Birmingham Golders Green Golders Green Croydon
The Society congratulated Dr Michael Henein on his recent appointment as a Consultant Cardiologist at The Royal Brompton Hospital and Dr Nabegh Mikhael on his recent appointment as a Medical Oncologist at St Thomas’ Hospital.
Members agreed that there should be an annual membership fee of £10. The treasurer agreed to put this in effect.
Dr Michael then addressed the Society on the subject of “The Christian Doctor”. He said that the perfect example that a doctor could look up to is the Lord Jesus Himself. In the prayers of intercession for the sick, the church prays “You are the true physician for our souls and bodies.”
The doctor while examining a patient to the best of his ability, he also examines the anguish a patient may be going through as a result of the physical illness. Therefore, the Christian doctor should always draw strength from the Lord. He prays for the patient and for the wisdom to treat him/her physically and spiritually. In this way the doctor becomes a vehicle through which God heals the patient.
The Old Testament draws a beautiful icon for the spiritual doctor. In Ecclesiastes 38 vv 9 -13
“ My son when you are ill do not be depressed, but pray to the Lord and He will heal you. Reverence your thoughts, your faults, keep your hands unsoiled and cleanse your heart from all sins. Then let the doctor take over – the Lord created him too – and do not let him leave you for you need him. Sometimes success is in their hands, since they in turn will beseech the Lord to grant them the grace to relieve and to heal, that life may be saved.”