Award-winning Norwich doctor - 'racism made me change my name'

Norwich doctor Thuria Wenbar, co-founder of e-surgery, won the NatWest everywoman Artemis award.

Norwich doctor Thuria Wenbar, co-founder of e-surgery - Credit: Submitted

A Norwich doctor and entrepreneur has overcome racism and dyslexia to land a national business award after 700 women had initially entered. 

Thuria Wenbar, 27, co-founder of e-surgery, was named the winner of the Artemis category at the NatWest Everywoman Awards which celebrates leading female entrepreneurs. 

Originally from Iraq, Dr Wenbar arrived in the UK as an asylum seeker with her family in 1999, and went on to study medicine at the University of East Anglia.

She then quit her training at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital to co-found e-surgery with her husband Oskar. 

Working in a team of 20, Dr Wenbar's business provides a simplified prescription system completely paper free and directly addressed to consumers across the United Kingdom. 

Dr Wenbar said: "We realised there was a significant disparity, with the need for appointments far exceeding the number of doctors available. We offer an alternative, discreet solution which made a lot of sense.

"I am a doctor and my husband is a pharmacist so we had real life experiences. We are a business run by clinicians, not just business people with profit in mind."

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As part of e-surgery, telephone lines are operated by staff so patients can be signposted to the appropriate prescriptions and treatment, instead of "going to doctor Google".

The business also supplied hand sanitiser to patients, charities and market stalls during the first lockdown when there was a shortage.

Dr Wenbar described winning the Everywoman award as leaving her feeling "overjoyed and speechless" as a virtual ceremony took place recently with a panel of expert judges. 

It is an opportunity to network with fellow women entrepreneurs, as well as being recognised for success. Dr Wenbar's Artemis category award is awarded to the most inspirational woman running a business trading for 18 months to three years. 

Dr Wenbar said: "It was incredibly humbling to watch the values of other female entrepreneurs who went on to build successful businesses. Every single finalist had overcome significant challenges to get there." 

For the Norwich doctor, such challenges have included speech-to-text dyslexia and shocking racism.

She decided to change her surname after being subjected to terrorist jokes, and seeing people refuse treatment due to her ethnicity. 

Despite this bigotry, she has carried on her path to success and now has plans to expand e-surgery across Europe.

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