Cleveland Clinic Medical Resident Returns to U.S.

Suha Abushamma, M.D., Ready to Resume Medical Career, Caring for Patients

Suha Abushamma, M.D., a 26-year-old Cleveland Clinic internal medicine resident who had been denied entry to the United States by an executive order 10 days ago, has returned to Cleveland, where she will resume her medical career.

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“I am excited to continue my work here at Cleveland Clinic, where I can focus on my medical career and most importantly caring for patients,” Dr. Abushamma said during a news conference at the Cleveland Intercontinental Hotel and Conference Center Tuesday afternoon.

Traveling with a Sudanese passport, Dr. Abushamma was unable to enter the United States on Saturday, Jan. 28, due to an executive order blocking travelers from seven countries, including Sudan.

She was able to return Monday, Feb. 6, through the help of friends, colleagues, a team of attorneys and the U.S. Attorney Office for the Eastern District of New York.

Dr. Abushamma offered the following remarks during Tuesday’s news conference:

First let me start by saying how happy I am to be back here in Cleveland with my friends, my fiancé and all the people I consider a part of my family. I missed everyone so much.

I am excited to continue my work here at Cleveland Clinic, where I can focus on my medical career and most importantly caring for patients.

I always wanted to be a doctor, like my parents who are both doctors and internal medicine physicians and internists. My three siblings are also in medical school.

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I chose training in the United States because it’s the best medical training in the world.

Cleveland Clinic stood out, not only because it’s a leading medical institution, but also because the Clinic embraces diversity and considers residents from all over the world.

I am beyond grateful to the entire team of individuals who worked so hard on my case. I especially want to thank this special group of lawyers who put their time and energy into getting me back home to Cleveland.

Also, my longtime friend and colleague, Faris Elkhider, who helped me initially contact my legal team and share my story.

I would personally like to thank Dr. Spencer for taking time away from family and work to meet me at JFK.

Also, thank you to my fellow residents for their infinite support.

I would also like to thank Dr. Cosgrove and the Cleveland Clinic, I am beyond thankful for your support and never giving up on me.

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While this has been a challenge for me in many ways, today I am feeling much gratitude and I’m looking forward to getting back to work and putting “Patient’s First.”

*NOTE: Members of the media may download broadcast quality video and audio. Please email us at missone@ccf.org for a password.

Video 1: Press conference HD (1 of 3)
Video 2: Press conference HD (2 of 3)
Video 3: Press conference HD (3 of 3)
Video 4: Suha Abushamma, M.D. greets colleauges
Audio: Press Conference (MP3)

About Cleveland Clinic

Cleveland Clinic is a nonprofit multispecialty academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education. Located in Cleveland, Ohio, it was founded in 1921 by four renowned physicians with a vision of providing outstanding patient care based upon the principles of cooperation, compassion and innovation. Cleveland Clinic has pioneered many medical breakthroughs, including coronary artery bypass surgery and the first face transplant in the United States. U.S.News & World Report consistently names Cleveland Clinic as one of the nation’s best hospitals in its annual “America’s Best Hospitals” survey. Among Cleveland Clinic’s 49,000 employees are more than 3,400 full-time salaried physicians and researchers and 14,000 nurses, representing 120 medical specialties and subspecialties. The Cleveland Clinic health system includes a 165-acre main campus near downtown Cleveland, nine community hospitals, more than 150 northern Ohio outpatient locations – including 18 full-service family health centers and three health and wellness centers – and locations in Weston, Fla.; Las Vegas, Nev.; Toronto, Canada; Abu Dhabi, UAE; and London, England. In 2015, there were 6.6 million outpatient visits, 164,700 hospital admissions and 208,807 surgical cases throughout the Cleveland Clinic health system. Patients came for treatment from every state and 180 countries. Visit us at www.clevelandclinic.org.  Follow us at www.twitter.com/ClevelandClinic.