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Shafi Ahmed
sylhet futurist colorectal

1. Introduction

Shafi Ahmed is a surgeon, teacher, futurist, innovator and entrepreneur.

Shafi was born on 26 January 1969 in Sylhet District, East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) and came to the United Kingdom as a child. His father, the late Mimbor Ali, was honoured by the Bangladeshi government for his significant contribution to the liberation of Bangladesh.

He was appointed as a Consultant General, Laparoscopic and Colorectal surgeon to the Royal London Hospital and St Bartholomew's Hospitals, Barts Health in 2007.

He was appointed as an honorary professor at The University of Bradford in May 2017.

2. Education

Shafi attended Chadwell Heath High School (now Chadwell Heath Academy) and then attended Redbridge technical college.

2.1. Undergraduate

He studied medicine between 1988 and 1993 at King's College Hospital School of Medicine. At university he was elected President of the Medical and Dental Society from 1989 to 1990 and helped introduce medical ethics into the curriculum. He was awarded the Jelf medal in 1990 for outstanding academic and social achievement at King's College London. He was also won the WG Oakley prize in Diabetes in 1992 for an original dissertation entitled "Diabetic Neuroarthropathy: the Pathogenesis of the Charcot joint".

He played football for the 1st XI between 1988–1993 and the United Hospitals' representative team 1990–1992. He captained the Cricket 1st XI 1991–1993.

2.2. Postgraduate

Shafi completed his basic and higher surgical training in London in general surgery.

During his surgical training he undertook a period of research at The Royal London Hospital and Queen Mary University of London and obtained a PhD in 2010 with a thesis entitled "The role of microarray profiling in predicting outcome in patients with colorectal cancer".[1]

He obtained his FRCS(Eng), FRCS(Ed) and FRCSI (Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, Edinburgh and Ireland) in 2007–2008. He completed his intercollegiate final FRCS(Gen.Surg) in 2006.

He also obtained a Certificate in Medical Informatics from the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh in 2005.

He has been awarded 4 Honorary PhDs (Honoris Causa) from Udabol University Bolivia, SIISDET Colombia, University of Peru of Science and Informatics and EXIBED, Spain.

3. Career

3.1. Clinical Practice

Shafi works in the Academic Centre of Surgery and has established minimally invasive colorectal surgery at the Royal London Hospital, Barts Health NHS Trust.

His main clinical interest is colorectal cancer and he performs radical pelvic surgery for primary and recurrent disease as well as multi-visceral resections. His other interests include diverticular disease, inflammatory bowel disease and pouch surgery, coloproctology and the modern management of haemorrhoids.

He has pioneered single incision laparoscopic colorectal surgery (virtual scarless surgery) and also works with liver surgeons to perform simultaneous laparoscopic liver and bowel resections for cancer. His other clinical interest is advanced stage 3/4 endometriosis, performing laparoscopic surgery with gynaecologists. This has led to the development and recognition of a national centre for endometriosis. In addition, he has specialist experience in complex abdominal wall hernias and reconstruction.

From 2010 to 2015 he was the lead clinician and multi-disciplinary team lead for colorectal cancer at Barts Health NHS Trust. He is also a CQC specialist advisor in general surgery.

He undertakes private work at the London Independent Hospital and the Spire Roding Hospital.

3.2. Teaching

Shafi is the Associate Dean for Barts and the London undergraduate medical students at the Royal London Hospital and is the module lead for surgery in year 3 and year 5. He was programme director for core surgical trainees for North East London 2012–2013 and Tutor in Surgery for the Royal London Hospital 2011–2013.

3.3. Barts X Medicine

Shafi is the module lead for an innovative new course at Barts and The London Medical School which aims to teach the 3rd year medical students about future medicine and how to generate ideas to improve clinical care.[2][3] The students are taught by digital health innovators and those involved in Medtech from the UK and US. BMJ digital and QMUL are supporting a hackathon and taking ideas to market by crowdsource funding.

3.4. Royal College of Surgeons of England

Shafi was elected onto the council of the Royal College of Surgeons of England in 2013.[4] He has numerous roles and leads the International Surgical Training Programme.[5] He was part of the Cancer 2020 5 Year Forward View Task force 2015.[6] He is a member of the court of examiners and is an international convenor of the MRCS for Bangladesh.

4. Technology, Innovation and Global Surgical Education

Shafi has been working on new technologies enhancing surgical education globally. His online videos have been watched hundreds of thousands of times, earning him the accolade of most-watched surgeon in human history.[7]

His company Virtual Medics[8] has developed the use of wearable technology in education and clinical practice. This has allowed the development of a web-placed platform to stream live and interactive teaching. They have recently released a global surgical curriculum.

In May 2014, using Google Glass, he performed and streamed a live interactive operation to 14000 students and trainees across 132 countries and 1100 cities.[9]

He is the cofounder of Medical Realities[10] a group offering surgical training products, specialising in virtual reality, augmented reality and serious games. On 14 April 2016, in collaboration with Barts Health,[11] Medical Realities[12] and Mativision,[13] he performed the world's first virtual reality operation recorded and streamed live in 360 degrees.[14][15] This was viewed by 55000 people in 140 countries and 4000 cities and reached 4.6 million people on Twitter. This event was covered worldwide on over 400 newspaper/online articles and BBC Click,[16] Sky News,[17] ARD German,[18] TRT News,[19] South American NTN,[20] ABC News,[21] Aljazeera,[22] and Press TV.[23] His work has been featured on Wired,[24][25] The Guardian ,[26][27] The Telegraph,[28] ABC News,[29] CNET,[30] Verge,[31] Huffington Post,[32] and Tech China.[33]

On 9 December 2016, he performed the world's first live operation using Snapchat Spectacles where he trained 200 medical students and surgical trainees,[34] which was covered by Time (magazine) magazine,[35] BBC,[36] and Cosmopolitan.[37] The operation has been viewed over 100 000 times[38]

He is a non-executive director of Medic creations [39] and GPDQ.

4.1. Social media

He was chosen to curate the @NHS Twitter account from 27 February 2017 to 3 March 2017 and tweeted the world's first live operation via this account.[40][41]

5. Other Activities

5.1. International Speaker

Shafi is a three times TEDx and three times Wired Health and international keynote speaker and is a member of the faculty at Exponential Medicine and Singularity University. He has spoken at many international conferences including TEDx Barts health,[42] TEDx Goodenough College,[43] TEDx Cass Business School, City University,[44] Wired Health,[45] [46] Wired Health Italy,[47] Exponential Medicine Singularity University,[48][49][50] Royal Society of Medicine Innovation Summit,[51][52] Digital Health Summer Summit,[53] MedTech Forum Europe, Belgium,[54] CopenX, Denmark[55] Innovation showcase Dublin,[56] Dubai Health Forum,[57] Tryst Conference, Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi,[58] Webit, Bulgaria,[59] ICEEFest, Romania,[60] Cannes Lions,[61][62] Krystal Elma, Istanbul,[63] GITEX, Dubai,[64] Knowledge Foundation Dubai [65]and Health 2.0 Barcelona.[66] Digifest [67][68]

On 15 March 2017, he delivered the prestigious Cantor Technology Lecture 2017 at the University of Bradford.[69] and also delivered the public lecture to open the Digital Health Enterprise Zone.[70]

He is the chair of the GIANT (Global Innovation and New Technologies) Health Event[71] in London and also the chair of the Webit.Health conference in Sofia, Bulgaria.[72] which showcase startups, innovation, technology and entrepreneurship.

5.2. Charity

He is Vice-President of Proshanti[73] a local charity community project to set up a health programme in Bangladesh and an advisor to Beani Bazaar Cancer Hospital, Bangladesh. He also teaches and trains surgeons in Dhaka, Bangladesh where he is the Dean for education at Rahetid,[74] a postgraduate surgical training centre.

6. Awards

  • Jelf Medal 1990. Awarded by the Principal of the College for the best academic and social achievement in the medical faculty of King's College School of Medicine and Dentistry.
  • W.G.Oakley Prize in Diabetes 1992. Awarded for an original dissertation entitled "Diabetic Neuroarthropathy: the Pathogenesis of the Charcot joint"
  • British Journal of Surgery Prize 2004. Awarded at the Association of Coloproctology, Edinburgh 2004 for best oral presentation "Prediction of Lymph Node Status in Colorectal Cancer by Microarray Profiling"
  • Silver Scalpel Prize 2015.[75][76][77] Awarded by the Association of Surgeons of Training for Best Surgical Trainer in UK
  • Islamic Society of Britain/British Telecom Innovation Business and Skills Award winner 2016
  • Barts Health Heroes Awards:[78] 2013 - 2017 Highly commended for Relentlessly improving and innovating for patient safety
  • 2017: Shortlisted for Digital Pioneer Awards of London for Innovation 2017[79]

6.1. British Bangladeshi Person of the Year 2017

Shafi has been selected in the British Bangladeshi Power and Inspiration 100[80] and awarded the honour of the British Bangladeshi Person of the Year 2017.[81]

6.2. Top Asian in UK Tech 2017

He was awarded the Chairman's prize for Outstanding Contribution to HealthTech.[82][83]

6.3. Digital Leader Award 2017

He received this award from Alternative Doctors.[84]

6.4. NHS70 Parliamentary Awards 2018

Future NHS Award regional winner[85][86] [87]

7. Personal Life

He lives in London. He is married to Farzana Hussain, a General Practitioner, and has two children, Usmaan and Zarina. He has three siblings: Shamim Ahmed, Khatun Sapnara and Jami Ahmed.

Further Reading
In this part, we encourage you to list the link of papers wrote by the character, or published reviews/articles about his/her academic contributions. Edit


  1. Ahmed, S.; Banerjea, A.; Hands, R. E.; Bustin, S.; Dorudi, S. (1 November 2005). "Microarray profiling of colorectal cancer in Bangladeshi patients". Colorectal Dis 7 (6): 571–575. doi:10.1111/j.1463-1318.2005.00818.x. PMID 16232237.
  2. "The rise of medical entrepreneurs | Student BMJ" (in en). 
  3. "Mr Shafi Ahmed, Director Medical Realities & Virtual Medics, Founder Barts X Medicine - Doctorpreneurs" (in en-US). Doctorpreneurs. 2017-01-11. 
  4. sitecore\ "Council – Royal College of Surgeons". Retrieved 9 January 2017. 
  5. sitecore\ "International Surgical Training Programme (ISTP) – Royal College of Surgeons". Retrieved 9 January 2017. 
  6. "Cancer Strategy in England". 20 January 2015. Retrieved 9 January 2017. 
  7. "Shafi Ahmed—The Virtual Surgeon—Discusses Live Streaming and VR in Surgery and Med Education |" (in en-US). Medgadget. 2017-04-06. 
  8. "Virtual Medics". Retrieved 9 January 2017. 
  9. "Surgeon uses Google Glass during cancer operation". Retrieved 9 January 2017. 
  10. "Medical Realities: VR, AR and Serious Games". Retrieved 9 January 2017. 
  11. "Barts Health – Barts Health NHS Trust homepage". 
  12. "Medical Realities: VR, AR and Serious Games". 
  13. "mativision". Retrieved 9 January 2017. 
  14. Davis, Nicola (14 April 2016). "Cutting-edge theatre: world's first virtual reality operation goes live". Retrieved 9 January 2017. 
  15. "Watch the world's first surgery streamed in virtual reality live from London". Retrieved 9 January 2017. 
  16. Cancer surgery broadcast live in virtual reality, 14 April 2016,, retrieved 21 January 2017 
  17. "Sky News Tonight on Twitter". 
  18. "Der erste 360-Livestream einer OP ist ein Ausblick auf die Zukunft des Lernens" (in de-DE). VRODO – Virtual Reality News und Augmented Reality News. 15 April 2016. 
  19. Uk Virtual's surgical students use new technology to learn, John Brain reports
  20. "Una cirugía de cáncer desde todos los ángulos gracias a la realidad virtual" (in es). 
  21. TRT World (16 April 2016), Uk Virtual's surgical students use new technology to learn, John Brain reports,, retrieved 21 January 2017 
  22. "Students in Gaza watch world's first virtual reality operation". Middle East MonitorB. 20 April 2016. 
  23. "PressTV-London hospital broadcast live cancer surgery in virtual reality". 
  24. Volpicelli, Gian. "What's next for virtual reality surgery?". WIRED UK. 
  25. Reynolds, Matthew. "Robot doctors will 'absolutely' replace surgeons". WIRED UK. 
  26. Davis, Nicola (14 April 2016). "Cutting-edge theatre: world’s first virtual reality operation goes live". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. 
  27. Quinn, Ben (25 March 2016). "UK cancer surgery to be live-streamed via virtual reality technology". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. 
  28. Surgeon uses Google Glass during cancer operation,, retrieved 21 January 2017 
  29. News, A. B. C. (13 March 2015). "Oculus Rift Could Be Key to 'Virtual Surgeon'". 
  30. "Watch a cancer operation at any angle via Google Cardboard". CNET. 
  31. McCormick, Rich (14 April 2016). "Live: Watch a real cancer surgery streamed in virtual reality". 
  32. "First Operation To Be Live-Streamed in VR Is Happening Today, And You Can Watch". The Huffington Post. 12 April 2016. 
  33. 13465, ck. "胆小勿入 用VR观看手术全程_科技频道_中华网". 
  34. Ergürel, Deniz (9 December 2016). "World's first surgery broadcasted on Snapchat Spectacles". Haptical. 
  35. Laurent, Olivier. "This Doctor Used Snapchat's Spectacles to Record a Surgery". 
  36. "Snapchat spectacles worn by UK surgeon while operating". BBC News. 14 December 2016. 
  37. "Dr. Shafi Ahmed". 
  38. Shafi Ahmed (11 December 2016), Snapchat Spectacles Surgery 9/12/2016 London Independent Hospital,, retrieved 21 January 2017 
  39. "Medic Creations". 
  40. "When @NHS tweeted live from bowel cancer surgery...". Twitter. 
  41. "NHS / Shafi's story". Twitter. 
  42. Shafi Ahmed (19 November 2015), Tedx Dr Shafi Ahmed Surgeon : Surgical Singularity TEDx Barts Health October 22nd 2015,, retrieved 21 January 2017 
  43. TEDx Talks (2017-08-10), Connecting a billion minds | Shafi Ahmed | TEDxGoodenoughCollege,, retrieved 2017-08-20 
  44. "TEDxCityUniversityofLondon". 
  45. WIRED UK (11 May 2016), Robot Doctors will 'Absolutely' Replace Surgeons | Health | WIRED,, retrieved 21 January 2017 
  46. "WIRED Health 2018: Meet the speakers". 
  47. "Quando la chirurgia finisce in diretta su Snapchat - Wired" (in it-IT). Wired. 2018-03-16. 
  48. "AR/VR & Visioning The Future of Medical Education with Rafael Grossmann & Shafi Ahmed". Exponential Medicine | October 2016. 
  49. "Shafi Ahmed on Visualizing the Future of Medical Education, from VR to the OR". Exponential Medicine | October 2016. 
  50. "An Avatar in your O.R., Redefining Human Interaction in Surgery with Shafi Ahmed" (in en-us). Exponential Medicine | November 2018. 
  51. "Virtual and augmented reality: The future of global surgery training | RSM Videos". 
  52. digitalhealthsummit (14 June 2016), Dr. Shafi Ahmed Interview @ 2016 DigitalHealth LIVE Summer Summit SF,, retrieved 21 January 2017 
  53. "European MedTech Forum 2016 – The 4th Industrial Revolution: the medtech era?". 
  54. "Shafi Ahmed". 
  55. "Shafi Ahmed". 
  56. "Health Innovation Week". 
  57. Bilal, Syed. "Dubai Health Forum 2017". 
  58. "IIT DELHI". 
  59. "Prof. Shafi Ahmed, Consultant Surgeon & Co-founder, Virtual Medics & Medical Realities". 
  60. "Shafi Ahmed is coming to ICEEhealth 2017: this year he performed the world’s first Virtual Reality surgery | ICEEfest" (in en-US). 
  61. "Welcome to Lions Health" (in en). 
  62. "Medical pioneer Prof Shafi Ahmed on using VR to train doctors and robotic hospitals" (in en). 
  63. "Kristal Elma" (in tr). Kristal Elma. 
  64. "Explore the Future of Healthcare at GITEX 2017" (in en). 
  65. Knowledge Summit (2017-11-09), Knowledge Summit 2017 - Dr. Shafi Ahmed قمة المعرفة 2017 - الدكتور شافي أحمد,, retrieved 2018-04-09 
  66. "Health 2.0 Europe | Medtech Engine" (in en-GB). Medtech Engine. 
  67. "Shafi Ahmed: ‘would you trust a robot to perform an operation on you?’" (in en-GB). Jisc. 
  68. "Think virtual reality surgery is a thing of the future? Think again…" (in en-GB). 
  69. "Robots will replace Surgeons – Forthcoming events – University of Bradford". 
  70. "DHEZ Academic Launch and Lecture with Mr Shafi Ahmed @ University of Bradford Union of Students" (in en). 
  71. "GIANT". 
  72. "Speakers of WEBIT". 
  73. "Home". Retrieved 9 January 2017. 
  74. "RA Hospital (RAHETID – RA Hospital Education Training Institute Dhaka) – Excellence in Health Care". Retrieved 9 January 2017. 
  75. "Silver Scalpel Award 2015". 
  76. "Silver Scalpel Award Winners". 
  77. Association of Surgeons in Training (15 June 2016), ASiT Conference 2016: Mr Shafi Ahmed, Silver Scalpel Award Winner,, retrieved 21 January 2017 
  78. "Barts Health – Barts Health Heroes". 
  79. "Finalists announced for 2017 NHS Digital Pioneer Awards – DigitalHealth.London". DigitalHealth.London. 30 January 2017. 
  82. "Chairman's Award 2017 - Asian Stars in UK Tech" (in en-GB). Asian Stars in UK Tech. 
  83. "Pioneering VR Surgeon Shafi Ahmed is named Top Asian in UK Tech 2017 - New Asian Post" (in en-US). 
  84. "National Awards, Conference and Exhibition – Developing Your Portfolio Programme – #DYP17" (in en-GB). 
  85. Clunas, Meriel. "Our surgeon chosen to represent London in NHS birthday awards | Our news - Barts Health NHS Trust" (in en). 
  86. "Official Shortlist | NHS70 Parliamentary Awards" (in en). 
  87. "NHS 70 Parliamentary Awards Shortlist Revealed – NHS70" (in en-US). 
Name: Shafi Ahmed
Born: Jan 1969
Sylhet District, East Pakistan (now Bangladesh)
Titles: Surgeon Teacher Futurist Entrepreneur
Affiliation: Royal London Hospital, St Bartholomew's Hospital
Honor: Unknown
Subjects: Others
Contributor MDPI registered users' name will be linked to their SciProfiles pages. To register with us, please refer to :
View Times: 1.1K
Entry Collection: HandWiki
Revision: 1 time (View History)
Update Date: 26 Dec 2022
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