Greek doctor Anargiros Mariolis was named the best family doctor in the world for 2021 by the World Organization of Family Doctors (WONCA).
Dr. Mariolis, who is the head of the Health Center of Areopoli, located in Mani, the Peloponnese, received the international distinction on Monday.
The award is given to the best family doctor every two years, and WONCA carefully selects the recipient from thousands of doctors from across the globe.
The criteria for the prestigious award relate to the multifaceted aspects of family medicine, including the highest standards of care, exceptional beside manner, the ability to make difficult yet important decisions in terms of patient care, and scientific and academic knowledge.
Greek doctor Anargiros Mariolis named best family doctor in the World
The award highlights the high level of care found amongst Greek doctors, particularly those who work outside of major urban center such as Athens.
He then went on to found the Health Center of Areopoli, where around 3,000 people are treated each month.
Before moving to Mani, however, he opened the Byron Health Center, which is located in the Athenian neighborhood of Vyronas. There, Dr. Mariolis founded the clinic, which provides health services to residents of the neighborhood.
He also developed a special wing of the clinic for more vulnerable populations such as refugees and immigrants, which was also home to free rooms where those requiring care could stay overnight.
Dr. Mariolis has helped refugees and deprived immigrants — using his own funds — from the time they take their first steps onto European territory. Not only has he provided a special place of accommodation for them, he has also spearheaded several campaigns which aim to raise awareness about their issues and support them.
For his extreme talents and kindness toward his patients, he is the only doctor to have received the ultimate award from the National Academy of Athens in 2016 for his services in Primary Health Care and Greek society.
“The Good Samaritan” doctor of Greece
“The Hero of Primary Health Care in Greece,” “The Role Model of General Practice,” “The Samaritan on the ancient grounds of Sparta” are just some of the glowing terms used by journalists, patients and community members to describe Dr. Mariolis.
He has published nearly 100 scholarly articles and has authored and edited many chapters for medical text books. In September 2020, Dr. Mariolis became an official member of the Greek Ministry of Health’s special coronavirus health committee.
A local community leader, Dr. Mariolis has organized important health campaigns in Mani, particularly related to coronavirus and vaccinations.
Mariolis, in a social media post, wrote that the award “reflects the recognition of the fight for the human being.
“I express my deep and honest gratitude” for the award, Dr. Mariolis wrote. He added that he “can’t live a day without his patients.
“The foundational elements of my job are my patients, who hold me gently in their arms. Looking into their windows everyday, I related to the power of their breath and the warmth of their blood… the love for one’s fellow man is that which lights up my consciousness.”
WONCA is a non-profit organization founded in 1972 by medical representatives from 18 countries around the world. The international organization is committed to promoting “respect for universal human rights and including gender equity, and fostering high standards of care in general practice/family medicine.”
WONCA now works in 131 countries and its membership totals to over 500,000 family doctors from across the globe. It has official relations with the World Health Organization (WHO) and frequently collaborates with the organization on global health campaigns.