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September 21, 2021

My ACE program mentor Dr. Vala Hamidi is my role model!

My ACE program mentor Dr. Vala Hamidi is my role model. She was an IMG ten years ago, finished residency in Methodist New York, fellowship and research in MD Anderson, and now an assistant professor of endocrinology in UCSD. We have been jokingly saying that I will go through the same adventure as she experienced ten years from now on.

This one-month experience granted me intense endocrinology knowledge. Dr. Hamidi is such a great educator. She is also good at relating the latest clinical trials in light of her research enthusiasm. I kept a OneNote diary of what I learned every day.

I picked up many lessons on better patient care delivery too. Dr. Hamidi is good at breaking down complex endocrine terms into more understandable language. She uses a factory metaphor for the thyroid gland, which is vivid and something I would borrow for my future patient encounters.

Dr. Hamidi's work ethic is another thing I admired too. Dr. Hamidi offered her time to help with diabetic patient education when the educators were booked out. Patients would benefit more the sooner they got proper guidance, which will help them reach the end goal. And the nurses love her, of course.

Another thing I learned from her is genuine care for the patient. She cares for patients as a whole, even as a specialist. She would spend some time digging into history, offering advice, and telling patients the necessity of further investigation by other practitioners if she thought the underlying symptoms were related to something else. 

Despite the long accomplished journey, she is unassumingly modest and approachable, which I admire profoundly. We shared a lot in common. We both love outdoor activities. I feel like sometimes she is just like one of my close girlfriends.

I felt utterly fortunate to have this month's fantastic journey with Dr. Hamidi and the endocrinology department team. Many thanks to the HSI team for the timely responses and considerate arrangements. I highly recommend future scholars to embrace this extraordinary opportunity at UCSD.