Pavlo Kolesnyk, WONCA Europe 5 star doctor 2023

During the closing ceremony of the WONCA Europe 2023 Conference, held in Brussels, WONCA Europe president, Dr. Shlomo Vinker, announced that the WONCA Europe nomination committee, after carefully considering the nominations received, decided to give its prestigious 5 Star Doctor Award 2023 to Dr. Pavlo Kolesnyk from Ukraine, based on the following attributes: 

  • Care provider who considers the patient as an integral part of a family and the community, provides high standard clinical care and personalises long term preventive care;

  • Decision maker, who chooses which technologies to apply ethically and cost-effectively while enhancing the care that he or she provides;

  • Communicator, who is able to promote healthy life-styles by emphatic explanation;

  • Community leader, who has won the trust of the people among whom he or she works, who can reconcile individual and community health requirements and initiate action on behalf of the community;

  • Team member, who can work harmoniously with individuals and organisations, within and outside the health care system, to meet his or her patients' and community's needs 


Dr. Vinker reminded the audience that at the beginning of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, seeing the chaos and lack of medical care for the incoming internally displaced persons (IDP), Dr. Pavlo Kolesnyk and his wife, Dr. Natalie Kolesnyk, organized temporary medical care for the displaced citizens. 


Furthermore, being a talented manager, Dr. Kolesnyk organized a 24/7 medical service on the border checkpoints, railway stations and shelters for refugees and IDPs. As none of the numerous local clinics was ready to provide free medical services to this most vulnerable category of the population (mostly elderly people, women and children), medical professionals soon realized that this group of people would need a dedicated clinic where patients could receive free comprehensive evaluation and treatment. 


In addition, Dr. Kolesnyk, having some previous experience in fundraising and with no help from the local government, contacted his friends and colleagues all over the world, through EURACT, EGPRN, WONCA, and CUSCA (Corvallis-Uzhgorod Sister Cities). 


The result exceeded all expectations: an amazing network of international donors and helpers has been established. Dr. Kolesnyk arranged to purchase space in a building and establish the International Family Medicine Clinic of Uzhhorod that now treats thousands of patients.


New recipient of WONCA Europe's 5 Star Doctor award for 2023, Dr. Pavlo Kolesnyk, gave the following speech upon receiving this most prestigious award.


Dear President, dear colleagues,

It is an honor to get such an appraisal of my work, but I cannot say it is only my work. Let us take these five stars as a recognition of European solidarity with Ukraine and Ukrainian family doctors.

You gave us five stars.

It is a privilege to be here in this beautiful peaceful Europe, at the political center, as hospitable as it was in Ukraine.

The president of WONCA and many members of WONCA were our guests. We hosted them on the beautiful and peaceful land of Ukraine, unfortunately not peaceful anymore.

We have got our five stars and I can say that these five stars is our recognition, but let me share the secret of our success and resilience, which gives us inspiration every day.

First of all, we are family doctors, which gives us the opportunity to be part of this tribe of family doctors, and we are proud of it. It gives us the opportunity to understand why we do what we do, in spite of any problems, crises or wars.

Second of all, we are teachers, and we have a younger generation of doctors who follow us, and we have a duty to be role models for them.

Thirdly, we are managers, and how to make a new democratic way of management is something we have to show our followers. 

We are part of this tribe; I am wearing this embroidery shirt to proudly reflect my ethnicity and my country.

And the last but most important part:  friends and family, family which supports us all the time despite all the problems, and friends, who supported us so much, now extended family of our country.

Now I believe our victory will come, despite any problems or any challenges, because you are with us, we are together.

Thank you for that. 

Slava Ukraine !


This is the link to the WE 5 star award 2023 ceremony,