Dr. Mads Fredrik Gilbert

International Awards

Hamdan Award for Volunteers in Humanitarian Medical Services
2013-2014

Personal Details & Achievements

Dr. Mads Fredrik Gilbert is a multi dimensional personality, a highly successful physician, academician, politician and a world renowned activist, who ascended to worldwide fame with his missions in conflict, post conflict and war zones. Born in Norway, Dr. Gilbert graduated from the University of Oslo with a medical degree in the year 1973 and has worked as a medical doctor ever since as a specialist in anaesthesiology and emergency medicine.

Dr. Gilbert has lived and worked in North Norway in the city of Tromsø, which is the north most university city in the world. He is currently the Medical Director of the Clinic of Emergency Medical Services at the University Hospital of North Norway, Professor of Anesthesiology, Emergency Medicine, Disaster Medicine, and Psychosocial Crisis Management at The Arctic University of Norway in Tromso. He has lead many projects with significant impact in several countries such as occupied Palestine, Burma, Cambodia, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Angola and Iran, and he is a cofounder of the Trauma Care Foundation and Tromsø Mine Victim Resource Center. Dr. Gilbert is a member of several prominent international associations and has served as  referee for prestigious scientific journals like The Lancet, Journal of Traumatic studies, and Resuscitation.

Dr. Gilbert received several prestigious awards for his outstanding scientific research and excellence in teaching and public service. Notable of these are The University of Oslo Honorary Prize in Emergency Medicine in 1999, the Palestinian Red Crescent Society’s Power of Humanity Award in 2000, Citizen of the Year Award- North Norway in the years 2000 & 2009, Certificate of Appreciation from the Mayor of Gaza in 2006, and Erik Bye’s Memorial Prize in 2009.  Dr. Gilbert was also the recipient of The Tahiti prize in 2009 which he shared with Dr. Erik Fosse. In 2013, he was awarded the Commander of the Order of St. Olav for his overall contributions to emergency medicine in Norway and abroad. In 2014 he was awarded an honorary citizenship of Palestine by President Mahmoud Abbas.

Dr. Gilbert was also highly successful in his public service; he was elected as the MP for the provincial parliament (TromsFylkesting) for three terms from 1979-1987 and 1995-1999. Dr. Gilbert has authored several scientific papers and monographs in leading peer reviewed scientific journals around the world. He has also written several books, notable of which are the best-selling “Eyes of Gaza” with Erik Fosse which has been translated into many languages, and in October this year he launched the book “Natt i Gaza” (Night in Gaza) about the last Israeli onslaught this summer.


Professional experiences

Following a skiing accident in January 2000, Anna Bågenholm was trapped for more than an hour in icy waters and was pronounced clinically dead, but survived after the efforts of Dr. Gilbert and his team. Her body temperature was 13.7°C, which represented the lowest survived body temperature recorded. Dr. Gilbert was awarded Åretsnordlending 2000 ("Northern Norwegian of the year, 2000"), by the readership of the Tromsø newspaper for this successful intervention. Dr. Gilbert's breakthrough in treating extreme hypothermia has been chronicled in Cheating death : the doctors and medical miracles that are saving lives against all odds by Sanjay Gupta, as well as being featured in CNN's television program Another Day: Cheating Death.


Social & Community Services

Dr. Gilbert has a broad range of international experiences, especially in locations where medical and political issues merge. He became actively involved with solidarity work concerning Palestinians since the 1970s, and has offered his medical services during numerous periods in the Palestinian territories and Lebanon. His efforts have been central for making the city of Tromso, a twin town of Gaza since 2001, the city that has sent more health workers to the Palestinian territories than any other in the world. Since 1976, he has mainly worked at the anaesthesiology department at the hospital in Tromsø, the current University Hospital of North Norway (UNN). For a while he worked at Gravdal hospital in Lofoton.  In 1991, he had become Dr.Med at the University of Tromsø for a thesis on metabolism and blood circulation during anaesthesia. He did his doctoral research in the United States at the University of Iowa in Iowa City.

Dr. Gilbert is well known around the world for his humanitarian services offered to the people in conflict zones. He has been extremely involved in saving the lives of people affected in Gaza due to the Israel – Palestine conflict. He has performed several thousand surgeries during the period of conflict saving thousands of Palestinian lives affected by the military aggression. He has continuously voiced opinions in favor of the people in Palestine and strongly denounced the attack on civilians of Gaza. Along with his colleagues, Dr. Gilbert signed an appeal to the Israeli government to stop military operation against Gaza and continues to voice his strong opinion against the conflict and aggression against civilians in Gaza.

Dr. Mads Gilbert deserves the Hamdan Award for Volunteers in Humanitarian Medical Services in recognition of his social services in Gaza and his contributions to the voluntary work in the field of trauma and emergency medicine.

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