Member Spotlight

Zeinab Kassem, MD

Norfolk, Virginia

Institution: Eastern Virginia Medical School

Title: Resident

Medical School: American University of Beirut Medical Center

Residency: Eastern Virginia Medical School

Personal and Family Background:
Tell us about someone who had an influence on you as a child.

Certainly, my parents come to mind, but not only for the obvious reasons one might think. While I was growing up in Beirut (Lebanon), there came a time when my mother had to start working to support our family. My father then became a stay-at-home dad which was quite unusual for a man of his generation in an Arab country at that time. Seeing how my parents shed archaic gender roles and fully embraced their roles as parents who do what’s necessary for their family was a beautiful first lesson in challenging social expectations and always doing what’s right.

Medical Training:
How did the diversity (or lack of diversity) in your medical educators shape your training?

During my training in medical school, patriarchy and paternalism were quite pervasive in the culture and permeated many interactions with physicians and patients alike. Navigating heteronormative systems as a medical student and a patient at times was also very frustrating and further highlighted just how much work there is to be done to improve the quality of care of underserved populations. This inspired me to pursue a career in medicine centered around providing better for those who need it most. 

MFM Practice:
What role has SMFM played in your career?

Although I am still a resident, SMFM and the foundation for SMFM have already played a huge role in my career. From connecting me to other wonderful residents across the states interested in MFM, to creating opportunities for us to network with giants in the field, and providing endless learning opportunities, I am more excited than ever to (hopefully) embark on a career in MFM!

SMFM Mad Libs: 
If I could solve one problem in MFM it would be… health inequity!