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Photograph of Dr Waheed Arian

Dr Waheed Arian

I'm Dr Waheed Arian, NHS doctor and founder of Arian Wellbeing. The idea for Arian Wellbeing was born from my own journey and struggles with anxiety and PTSD, which stemmed from the immense hardship of my past.

  • The Times Person of the Year 2021

  • Who Cares Wins Best Doctor 2021

  • Winner of the Rotary International Peace Award 2018

  • UNESCO Global Hero Award 2017

  • Health Service Journal Highly Commended Rising Star 2016

My Story

A photograph of Dr Waheed Arian as a child

I was born in Kabul, Afghanistan during the Soviet conflict of the 1980s and spent my childhood knowing nothing but war and the fight for survival. I grew up living with the knowledge that every day could have been my last, with the death of friends and family members a constant reality.

After fleeing the conflict, my family took refuge in a crowded camp with very poor living conditions. Both myself and my siblings suffered near starvation and contracted life-threatening illnesses, malaria and tuberculosis.

Whilst being treated, I suddenly understood what I needed to live for; becoming a doctor so that I could help the people who I saw were suffering.

A photograph of Dr Waheed Arian attending his graduation

Years later, I arrived in the UK as a 15-year-old unaccompanied refugee, only able to speak a few words of English. With my goal in mind, I battled to overcome post-traumatic stress and anxiety attacks to study medicine at Cambridge University, graduating as a doctor with awards from Harvard and Imperial.

I am now a qualified emergency medicine doctor, and have been fighting Covid-19 on the frontline in the NHS alongside leading an international telemedicine charity, Arian Teleheal, which is currently saving lives in the fight against Covid-19 and supporting other doctors and patients in low resource countries and conflict zones.

Arian Teleheal was only possible through the kindness of volunteers. I realised that giving back through the charity's work was helping to heal my own trauma.

A photograph of Dr Waheed Arian working through the COVID-19 pandemic

Combined with holistic therapy to treat my PTSD, the power of acts of kindness helped me get my life back on track.

These lessons are what has shaped the development of Arian Wellbeing.