Member Spotlight

Mariam Ayyash, MD, MSCR

Dearborn, Michigan

Institution: NYP – Columbia University Irving Medical Center

Title: Clinical Fellow

Medical School: Michigan Medicine

Residency: Henry Ford Hospital

Fellowship Training Institution: NYP – Columbia University Irving Medical Center

Personal and Family Background:

Tell us about someone who had an influence on you as child.

My parents will always be my greatest role models. They endured so much financial adversity as I was growing up but never once made me or my siblings feel as though anything was different at home. They did their best to ensure we got an education – one that they were never fortunate enough to have. They always pushed us to be the best version of ourselves and made so many sacrifices to be where we are today. They taught me strength, selflessness, and resilience, and I’ll forever be grateful for them.

What was your first job and how did it prepare you for your current position?

I started work just a few days after arriving to the US in 2009. My first job was a cashier at a local grocery store in Michigan. I met and engaged with customers from all backgrounds; from interacting with people, to showing respect, patience, and kindness towards others, I’m grateful for this experience; it certainly complements the human connection and communication aspect of medicine.

Medical Training:

Was there a mentor who inspired you?

I am blessed to have so many mentors who shaped me to be who I am today. One of my first mentors was Dr. Roland Alexander Blackwood, a pediatric infectious disease specialist, who I met during my medical school training. While he knew my interest lied in women’s health, Dr. Blackwood was my strongest advocate and supporter. He looked at me not only as a student pursuing a career in medicine, but as a developing researcher, mentor, and leader. From designing my own research projects, to creating a school mentorship program, to starting and running a 501(c)(3) organization during medical school, Dr. Blackwood unconditionally supported every ‘crazy’ idea I had and encouraged me to always think outside the box. He has given me so much and never asked for anything in return other than paying it forward and I hope to keep that cycle going on forever.

MFM Practice:

What role has SMFM played in your career?

SMFM and the Foundation for SMFM have both played a fundamental role in my career thus far. I’ve had the privilege to receive mentorship and guidance from outstanding pioneers in this field; something that I’ll never take for granted. I’m appreciative of all the networking opportunities and grateful for the friendships I made with some outstanding fellows within my cohort. From mentorship, to research, to service, I am beyond grateful for everything the society has offered me. It certainly kept me eager and passionate for research, discovery, and leaving an everlasting impact within this field.

In your spare time:

If you had to live one day in your life over and over (think Groundhog Day 1993 Movie), which would you pick?

I would definitely choose my residency graduation day! Seeing the pride and smiles on my parents’ faces meant everything to me. My sister had just graduated from her EM residency the day prior to my own graduation. My sister and I are the youngest of 5 siblings. We immigrated as a family from Beirut to Detroit in 2009 to start life literally from zero. Residency graduation was a moment of ‘gratitude’; after years of hard work, it felt like we all finally ‘made it’.  

SMFM Mad Libs:

If I could solve one problem in MFM it would be… find a cure to preeclampsia!