Menu Close

Episode 16: How One Physician’s Perseverance Opened Doors to New Worlds

Spotify Google  |  Apple

“Every time you learn something, you acquire a new life,” shares Dr. Marwa Hazzah, functional medicine practitioner. Marwa started off her career in internal medicine and her passion for helping women with autoimmune conditions ultimately led her to pursue functional medicine. She was determined to learn everything she could to help improve the lives of her patients who were dealing with chronic illnesses. Now Dr. Marwa runs groups that help inspire and encourage patients as they face their similar challenges together. 

Dr. Marwa knew there had to be a better way for her patients to live other than a lifelong medication routine. Wanting alternative healing treatments, Marwa poured herself into finding answers about the impacts of inflammation on the body.

At the beginning of the pandemic, her research showed the risks of endothelial dysfunction long before the data was released, and she was able to help her COVID positive patients have better outcomes. Dr. Marwa threw herself into learning right alongside her patients and even did the elimination diet with them to help show how beneficial it was.

Dr. Hazzah’s tenacity and love of learning opens doors for her patients that otherwise would have remained closed.

Tune into this week’s episode of The Catalyst to hear more about the benefits of functional medicine, how perseverance can change lives, and the importance of always learning something new.

About Marwa Hazzah, MD MS IFMCP:

Dr. Hazzah graduated Medical School of Cairo University in 1999. She completed an Internship At Cairo University Teaching Hospital in 2000. Then Completed 3 years of Residency Training at Cairo University Teaching Hospital between 2000-2003. During this time she treated patients not just from all over Egypt but also from different regions in the Middle East.

“From the beginning of her residency, I was very passionate to help patients with autoimmune diseases and malignancies specially hematological disorders.It was amazing to me how these circulating blood cells work and how our immune system has the capacity to shift and attack itself instead of defending the body it is supposed to be guard”.

During 3 years Residency at Cairo University, she subspecialized in Hematology and Oncology and completed a Master Degree in Science (Thesis in Bone Marrow Transplant).

With all the eagerness, curiosity and passion to learn and serve patients, she immigrated to the USA and helped in different research opportunities at the hematology Department at Saint Joseph Hospital in Paterson NJ( part of Mount Sinai School of Medicine), Jacopi Albert Einstein School of Medicine and Columbia University Presbytarian Hospital NYC.

She completed 3 years of Residency in Internal Medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine ( Bronx veteran Hospital) between 2006-2009. During this time, she rotated through Many of NYC Academic Hospitals and Institutions including Monterfiore, Jacopi Albert Einstein, North Central Bronx, Westchester Medical Center and Memorial Sloan Kettering which further enriched the academic and clinical background.

Board Certified in Internal Medicine Since 2009. Worked as Hospitalist ( inpatient Medicine) at Westchester/ Bon Secour Health System for 4 years followed by Primary Care/ Outpatient at Barnabas Health System for 9 years. During the time she worked in Primary Care Field she was puzzled trying to find answers to her chronic illness patients that persuaded her to search and find both Functional Medicine and homeopathy. She is now a member of The Institute Of Functional Medicine and Institue of Medicine Certified Practitioner. She is also a member at the Center of Clinical Education and Development of homeopathy. This makes her one of the few Elite providers who can help patients with complex illnesses. She was able to help patients with Chronic illnesses through lifestyle modification to reverse their illness and consume less prescription medications.

During the Pandemic of Covid-19, using the model of Integrative and Functional Medicine was able to help her patients to achieve better outcomes, very few hospitalizations including patients with several chronic diseases.

In This Episode We're Talking About:

  • How to be creative in delivering functional medicine to low socioeconomic population
  • Changing the wrong vision about middle eastern/ Muslim women
  • In the end of 2021, Dr. Hazzah was chosen by IFM to be a speaker at the Annual International Conference of Functional Medicine
  • In both 2020 and 2021, Dr. Hazzah was voted by Castle Connolly and The American registry as Top Doctor


  • “Healthcare is changing, and we are either going to be pulled and dragged along or we can actually be at the front of that change.” (3:22-3:29 | Lara)


  • “One of the very catalytic moments that really helped me improve was that Michael Lee called me on the second day of the pandemic saying, ‘I spoke yesterday to my patient, and he was doing fine. Then after a few hours, his wife called me and by the time he was in the ER, he was dead.’… I went to hang up and said this is not hypoxia…We know inflammation will cause endothelial dysfunction. So I started every patient on aspirin early on, before all the data came out.” (12:26-13:53 | Marwa)


  • “It’s so hard to do what’s wrong when you know what is right.” (16:49-16:51 | Marwa) 


  • “We have to teach our medical residents and our trainees how we can go back and work on the pathology and why it happened and what’s going on exactly in the model of functional medicine.” (25:10-25:21 | Marwa)


  • “It’s not about just what you eat, it’s about how you feel. It’s your stress. It’s how happy you are. We know it’s going to cause inflammation in the body, but maybe certain food brings you good memories and makes you feel happy. And I think that will impact your gut microbiome at the same time.” (28:10-28:32 | Marwa)


  • “Every time you learn something, you acquire a new life.” (33:52-33:54 | Marwa)

Links for this Episode:

Connect with Dr. Marwa Hazzah:

Connect with Dr. Lara Salyer:

Thank You For Listening!

If you enjoyed this podcast, please leave a review! Your positive review helps other physicians find this podcast and increase the visibility.

About The Catalyst Host, Dr. Lara Salyer:

I worked as a family physician for 15 years until burnout changed the trajectory of my career. I realized I wanted to start a holistic functional medicine practice in my rural hometown and made it happen. In addition to practicing functional medicine, I now mentor practitioners who are looking to change their paths in healthcare by using what I refer to as the “Catalyst Roadmap”. I share each step of this framework with listeners so that they may apply it to their careers, relationships, personal goals, and projects. 

Episode Search

Mark your calendars! The Catalyst launches episodes weekly. You can expect to find a new, insightful conversation with a catalyst every Friday!