We’re excited to have Dr. Hassan Tetteh who is a US Navy Captain, Physician Executive, and Thoracic Surgeon as a keynote speaker at this year’s Hint Summit, September 20-23, in San Diego, CA. Dr. Tetteh is a board-certified heart and lung transplant surgeon and also an Associate Professor of Surgery at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences and adjunct faculty at Howard University College of Medicine. Dr. Tetteh performs thoracic surgeries at MedStar Health and Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, leading a Specialized Thoracic Adapted Recovery (STAR) Team in Washington, DC.


Dr. Tetteh grew up in Brooklyn, NY with parents who immigrated from West Africa. He knew early on that he wanted to become a physician with a near-death experience contracting bacterial meningitis as a junior in college, further fueling his desire to practice medicine. After several medical school application rejections, he finally got accepted to SUNY Downstate Medical Center returning to the neighborhood where he was born and raised to train to become a doctor. This experience turned out to be very beneficial as Hassan was able to be closer to his parents who were ill at the time with his father passing away shortly after Hassan graduated from medical school.


“I really discovered my full potential in medical school somewhat towards the end. And by the time I was a 3rd year/4th year [med student], I was convinced absolutely that I was going to be a surgeon…and I had that passion to be a surgeon.” - Dr. Hassan Tetteh


Over the years, Hassan Tetteh, MD, MBA witnessed countless near-death experiences and had the distinction of saving lives as a combat surgeon in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, and continues to save lives as part of the STAR Team. Dr. Hassan Tetteh’s personal and professional experiences gave him insight into what it means to be a healer, calling him to a greater purpose to inspire and influence the next generation of doctors.


In 2014, Dr. Hassan Tetteh returned to his alma mater delivering a keynote to first-year medical students at their White Coat Ceremony, which propelled him to later turn the content of his speech into his first book, The Art of Human Care. Published on January 1, 2019, The Art of Human Care features illustrations by Hassan’s daughter, Ella Bleue, and explores how we can change the world for the better through the art of healing.  


"Over my career, my patients have taught me the most. I learned from my patients that one does not have to cure to heal. Healing begins with care, compassion, and delivering human care." - Dr. Hassan Tetteh


Hassan Tetteh, MD, MBA developed The Art of Human Care theory, which entails 3 elements: purpose, personalization, and partnership. Purpose is what you do for others, personalization encompasses care of the whole person, taking into account an individual patient’s lifestyle and partnership consists of the relationship of not only the clinician and patient, but also includes the patient’s family, caregivers, and community. Dr. Hassan Tetteh’s brush with death as a college student awakened him to “embrace the mind-body-spirit connection that informs [his] practice every day” and ultimately led him to the development of The Art of Human Care theory. This approach coming from a surgeon truly inspires and reinforces the principles of direct primary care, which advocates for the restoration of the doctor-patient relationship.


"With health, wisdom reveals itself, art becomes manifest, we have strength to fight life's challenges, our wealth becomes useful, we may apply our intelligence, and positively change the world for generations." - Dr. Hassan Tetteh


As Black History Month comes to a close, we’d like to highlight the critical strides that African Americans have made in the medical field, such as Dr. Dale Hale Williams (1856-1931) who was the first doctor to perform successful open heart surgery in the summer of 1893 and founded Provident Hospital in Chicago, which was America’s first interracial hospital. These breakthroughs paved the way for doctors including Hassan Tetteh, MD, MBA who demonstrate excellence in care and are an inspiration to up-and-coming doctors of all backgrounds.


We are committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion at Hint Summit and as an organization. It is an honor to have Dr. Hassan Tetteh, recipient of the Alley Sheridan Award by the Thoracic Surgery Foundation for Research and Education and a TEDMED Frontline Scholar among several other awards and accolades, join us at Hint Summit ‘23. 


You can learn more about Dr. Hassan Tetteh on his YouTube channel and website. Join us at Hint Summit ‘23 in San Diego, CA, and see him live!