Rana Awdish, MD, FCCP is the author of In Shock, a memoir based on her own critical illness. She is a critical care physician and faculty member of Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit, Michigan.
She completed her medical degree in 2002 at Wayne State, where she was inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society, her residency at Mount Sinai Beth Israel in New York, and her fellowship training at Henry Ford Hospital, where she serves as the current Director of the Pulmonary Hypertension Program. She was also recently named Medical Director of Care Experience for the entire Health System. Dr. Awdish’s mandate is to improve the patient experience across the system and speak on patient advocacy at health care venues nationally.
After suffering a sudden critical illness herself, she has special interest in improving empathy through connection and communication. She lectures to physicians, health care leaders, and medical schools across the country. She was awarded the Speak-Up Hero Award in 2014 for her work establishing a workshop based program called CLEAR (Connect, Listen, Emphasize, Align, Respect), which trains faculty and trainees in relationship-based communication skills utilizing improvisational actors.
She was named Henry Ford Hospital’s Critical Care Teacher of the Year in 2016. She has been nominated for the Compassionate Caregiver of the Year Award by her peers. She has been interviewed for NPR, MedPage, Health Leaders Media and Beckers Hospital Review. Her New England Journal of Medicine Perspectives article, “My View from the Edge,” went viral, garnering over 100,000 views. It is ranked in the 99th percentile for reach.
To book healthcare speaker Dr. Rana Awdish, contact Executive Speakers Bureau at 901.754.9404.
The Wound is the Gift
Dr. Awdish intimates lessons learned from surviving critical illness. She focuses on the illuminating power of moments that shatter our bodies and allow us access to truths. "The Wound is the Gift" is an inspiring talk about how confronting our own mortality can help us to find meaning and peace. Ultimately, our dependence on each other and our interconnectedness are beautiful.
As a critically-ill patient, Dr. Awdish appreciated a dark hole at the center of a flurry of what was otherwise highly-proficient, astoundingly skillful care. It took years of being a patient to understand that though the healing potential of knowledge is magical, it is also a lie. Medicine cannot heal in a vacuum; it requires connection.
The Power of Words
From her experience as a patient, Dr. Awdish saw how inadvertently hurtful even an amazing doctor's words could be. There is suffering that is intrinsic to disease, and then there is the suffering that we confer, which is very much avoidable.
The Broken Vessel
Dr. Awdish focuses on what is needed to heal medicine and how medical training distances physicians from patients. It is only by giving primacy to the patient narrative, building resilience in physicians, and forming a community that we can hope to reunite the sparks to a cohesive whole, with the power to heal us all.
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