Odessa Hamidi, MD
Institution: University of Colorado (Aurora, CO)
Medical School: Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (Lubbock, TX)
Residency: Penn State University Hershey Medical Center (Hershey, PA)
Fellowship: University of Colorado (Aurora, CO)
Tell us about someone who had an influence on you as child. My mother and my older sister have been driving forces for my entire life. My mother immigrated from another country and has always shown how hard work and perseverence can allow you to realize your dreams. I remember attending her graduation as a young child as she earned her civil engineering degree. I witnessed firsthand the hard work my mother went through pursuing a challenging degree in her non-primary language. My older sister has also always been a wonderful model of determination and persistence as she pursued her PhD in neuroscience. I am proud to come from a family of women in STEM who are motivated by a desire to serve others and improve the world around us.
Was there a mentor(s) and/or a patient who inspired you? My first mentor and inspiration to pursue MFM was Dr. Edward Yeomans at Texas Tech. I was a medical student when I had the opportunity to work with him, and thanks to him, my heart was already set on MFM before I even started my OBGYN residency. He embodied care and compassion towards his patients and pushed everyone at every level to be the best version of themselves they could be. That being said, if I listed every mentor along the way who has inspired me, this section would be pages long. I have learned so much about providing quality compassionate care from so many teachers throughout medical school, residency, and fellowship and I am truly grateful to all of them.
How has your cultural background shaped you as an MFM? Growing up as a second generation American gave me the insight to understand the struggles many face in order to live in a new country and navigate a healthcare system where English is not one's first language. It gave me an inherent level of patience and understanding for the unique issues these patients face. This broad worldview helps me better appreciate and understand that every patient has a unique interplay of their cultural and societal backgrounds/beliefs that influence their medical care.
What role has SMFM played in your career? I had the opportunity to attend my first SMFM meeting during residency, and I found it so motivating and exciting to be surrounded by not only leaders in the field, but also all my colleagues who have dedicated their lives to serving and providing quality care to women. I knew I had found "my people" and have since made multiple connections through the SMFM community that I am certain will last a lifetime.
I’m excited to wake up every day and practice Maternal-Fetal Medicine because… Every day is unique and interesting. It is such a joy to share in a monumental and special part of someone's life and to celebrate the successful outcomes with them, and it is humbling to be there for patients in the worst of times as well.