'Have trust in yourself': Meet the Emirati mother who is both a doctor and a social media star

Specialist orthodontist Dr Fatima Al Suwaidi currently has over 44,000 followers on Instagram; her posts feature her five children, health tips and more



by

Ashwani Kumar

Published: Sat 1 Oct 2022, 12:42 PM

Last updated: Sat 1 Oct 2022, 3:49 PM

Dr Fatima Al Suwaidi, an Emirati specialist orthodontist and a social media influencer, believes in living life to the fullest.

Over the past years, this self-determined and open-minded woman has amassed more than 44,000 followers under her Instagram account, @fatimalsuwaidi, which has regular posts featuring her five children, health tips and more.

Dr Fatima is someone who has always attempted to explore new opportunities which have come her way, including the decision to pursue orthodontics.

"One day, my father asked if I would like to visit a recently opened dental school, I said: 'let's go check it out', and ended up enrolling myself on the very same day. It was a very spontaneous decision, one which I did not think too much about. Anything that challenges me and pushes me to think critically piques my interest," said Dr Fatima, a Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare-certified orthodontist who practices at Healthpoint Hospital in Abu Dhabi.

'Challenges faced each day'

"I have been an Abu Dhabi resident all my life but completed my higher education in Dubai at the European University College, in affiliation with Malmo University, Sweden. I got married at an early age and gave birth to my two children while still completing my studies. Each week I would drive back and forth between Abu Dhabi and Dubai, a very exhausting journey, but my family helped me keep going, pitching in with support when I needed it. Looking back at it now, I often wonder how I was able to maintain that routine for three whole years. But I think it was worth it in the end."

After graduating and working for a year as a dentist, Dr Fatima opted for orthodontics, which she noted "combines not just the science of dentistry, but also planning and rational thinking". Orthodontics is the branch of dentistry that specialises in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of dental and facial irregularities.

"Challenges are faced by orthodontists each day, since every single patient is unique in their own way. There are some tried and tested golden rules, but at the same time, a minor variable can completely change the way you might have mapped out your treatment plan. When you take this into consideration, every case is a new challenge."

Dr Fatima termed her life as a blogger and a social media influencer to be a "happy accident".

"I am a very spontaneous person and often end up speaking my mind when with a group of friends or family. My online personality is an extension of my offline personality, so it came very naturally to me to share my thoughts and opinions online around navigating parenting and family life. The more I spoke my mind, the more people were receptive to it. The rest has been history."

Dr Fatima's Instagram posts are photos and videos of the happy moments and developmental milestones of her children: four girls and a boy, and also include her inspiring messages.

"There were some friends who questioned why I was sharing my life on social media, and that life is something that needs to be lived in private. But I also had friends who continued to encourage me to do what I was doing because I was genuinely passionate about it. For me, it felt very natural to speak my mind and share my life, it did not make me feel uncomfortable."

'Have trust and confidence'

Talking about her growth on the social media account, she said: "I've been on Instagram for nine years, and I didn't really consider myself an influencer until a few years ago. When brands started to reach out to me because they liked my content, that's when it clicked that this is a serious outlet for my creative and fun-loving side."

Dr Fatima, a glowing example of the work-life balance of a mother and a doctor, urged young Emiratis to have trust in their abilities to achieve success in their lives.

"My main advice would be to have trust in yourself and be confident. Time management is also extremely important. Once you learn how to manage your time and get organised, then anything is possible."

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