THREE generations of the same family have now worked on the same ward at Worcestershire Royal Hospital.
Consultant haematologist, Dr Salim Shafeek has worked at Worcestershire Royal Hospital for the last 19 years treating patients with different forms of blood cancer.
But Dr Shafeek was recently joined by his son Faheez, for a Junior Doctor’s training placement at the same hospital and on the same ward as his father.
Faheez’s placement on the Haematology ward makes him the third generation of the same family to work in the department, after his grandfather (and Dr Salim Shafeek’s father) also worked as a Locum Consultant Haematologist in Worcestershire’s hospitals for 18 months.
Interestingly, during the spell that Dr Salim Shafeek’s father – Professor Kasim Salim – worked in the department, Dr Salim Shafeek was technically working as his own father’s boss in his role as Clinical Director of Haematology.
A further coincidence can be found in the personal lives of the family, when in 2019 Dr Salim Shafeek was sadly diagnosed with blood cancer himself – having treated patients with the same condition since 2002.
Thankfully Dr Shafeek is now in complete remission, but the experience left a mark on his son, Faheez who has now started working alongside his father on the Haematology ward, helping treat patients with the same condition his father has been through.
Dr Salim Shafeek said: “It is such a race coincidence to have three generations of the same family to have worked in the same department. My father was one of the first fully UK-trained Haematologists in India and set-up a pioneering Haematology service in South India which inspired my choice of specialism. My father was inspirational for many Haematologists from India and he came back to the UK and worked here in Worcestershire.
“I’m really proud to now have my son come to Worcestershire Royal Hospital by chance for his Foundation Doctor programme and work alongside me on the same ward. I feel privileged to be working in a family-friendly Trust like Worcestershire Acute Hospitals.”
Following his father’s diagnosis, Faheez undertook various cycle rides to fundraise for a charity close to his family’s heart – Cure Leukaemia. Faheez managed to raise over £22,000 for the Midlands-based charity by cycling over 300 miles from London to Paris in support of his father.
Dr Faheez Shafeek said: “Medicine runs in the family with my father and grandfather both spending most of their lives treating blood cancer patients. But I never expected that the disease would directly affect my father in the way it did.
“I feel lucky to be able to work alongside my father and follow in the footsteps of his father too by helping patients with blood cancer in Worcestershire.”