Interview with ASH Ambassador Rahma Warsame, MD
Dr. Rahma Warsame participates in the ASH Ambassador program, serving as a bridge between the Society, mentors, and trainees.
She is an Assistant Professor of Medicine and Hematology, a Diversity and Inclusion Division Leader, and a Senior Associate Consultant in the Division of Hematology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. Dr. Warsame’s clinical interests include patient reported outcomes and financial toxicities in cancer.
Tell us a little bit about your background. What are some of your interests and pastimes?
I was born in Somalia and was a refugee to Canada with my family, and I grew up around Toronto. I am married and have a daughter (14 months) who keeps me and my husband busy and super happy. I am also a huge movie buff and book worm.
What made you want to study medicine and what brought you to the field of hematology?
I am a hematologist at Mayo Clinic Rochester with a focus on plasma cell disorders. I chose to study medicine after I saw the impact that physicians could have on people, especially the underserved, like refugees. Hematology was what I pursued because of the dynamic opportunities I had for research and the patients I can treat.
What influenced your pathway to leadership?
My experience going through medical school and graduate training was fraught with missteps, and support from so many mentors has helped me be successful. I want to make sure that I help others navigate training and a road to hematology successfully.
Tell us about your work in promoting diversity in hematology and why it is important to you and to the field.
I am a diversity leader for my division, and in that role I host workshops on unconscious bias and work on inclusivity education and events, as well as discuss opportunities for cultural competency for our workforce and our patients. I chair our diversity and inclusion committee and work with a team of enthusiastic individuals to spearhead ways to appreciate our rich diversity and commonality. Lastly, trying to embark on research on our workforce and the impact of bias on trainees. Also, as ASH ambassador, I have the opportunity to create a larger network and help trainees access the resources needed to be successful.