Vascular surgeon Weesam Alkhatib dies at 34

Weesam Alkhatib

Weesam Alkhatib

Weesam Kassim Alkhatib, MD, a clinical instructor in surgery at the Stanford University School of Medicine and a vascular surgeon at both Stanford Hospital & Clinics and the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System, died at his parents’ home in Woodland, Calif., on April 14 of a rare form of cancer. He was 34.

Alkhatib was appointed a clinical instructor of surgery in 2010, after completing a two-year vascular and endovascular surgery fellowship at Stanford. He graduated from medical school at the University of Kansas, where he also completed his residency.

“Dr. Alkhatib was an outstanding surgeon, scholar, role model and friend,” said Ronald Dalman, MD, the Dr. Walter C. Chidester Professor and chief of vascular surgery. “In his short but meaningful career, his passion, skill and commitment to his patients were an inspiration to all who knew him.”

Alkhatib had undergone several treatments during his fellowship and throughout his faculty appointment, but continued to practice surgery and to teach.

“He really had made a big impact,” Dalman said, noting that Alkhatib’s primary responsibility was in resident education, and that he had aspired to be a program director. Dalman said he was popular with the residents, who were attracted to his outgoing personality and sense of humor. He enjoyed sports and was a varsity athlete in tennis as an undergraduate at Kansas State University.

For the last two years, Alkhatib directed the division’s didactic educational program, and at the time of his death he was completing a new handbook for board certification review. In his honor, his manuscript is being finalized by his trainees and will be submitted to the publisher later this year.

“He was just at the start of a bright and promising career and had so much life ahead of him,” Dalman said. “It’s tragic.”

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that people contribute to a memorial project dedicated to both Weesam and his younger brother, Shwan Alkhatib, who predeceased him. Online donations are being collected at Checks can be mailed to Dickinson County Bank, P.O. Box 217, Enterprise, KS, 67441. Checks can be made payable to: Shwan “Fatty” Alkhatib Memorial Fund.

Alkhatib is survived by his parents, Kassim and Sorkel, of Woodland, and his sisters Aveen of London, Canada, and Cheen of Dallas.

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