American College Of Surgeons - Inspiring Quality: Highest Standards, Better Outcomes

Keynote Speaker: Rana Awdish, MD

Rana Awdish, MD

Rana Awdish, MD, is the director of the pulmonary hypertension program and a critical care physician at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, MI. She is also the medical director of care experience for Henry Ford Health System—a $6 billion, 24,000 employee, multi-hospital system—where she is charged with improving the patient experience across the system and speaking on patient advocacy at health care venues nationally. 

Prior to coming to Henry Ford, Dr. Awdish completed her training at Mount Sinai Beth Israel in Manhattan, NY. She attended Wayne State University Medical School in Detroit, and completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. She is board-certified in internal medicine, pulmonary, and critical care medicine. Her research interests include pulmonary hypertension, yoga for rehabilitation of chronic lung disease, and communication training. She has received numerous awards for teaching and her work in communication including the Speak Up Hero Award and Critical Care Teacher of the Year Award. 

Dr. Awdish never imagined that an emergency trip to the hospital would result in hemorrhaging nearly all of her blood volume and losing her unborn first child. Dr. Awdish spent months fighting for her life, enduring consecutive major operations and experiencing multiple overlapping organ failures. At each step of the recovery process, Dr. Awdish was faced with something unexpected: repeated cavalier behavior from her fellow physicians—indifference following human loss, disregard for anguish and suffering, and an exacting emotional distance. Dr. Awdish recorded her experience in a collection of personal essays that laid the framework for her forthcoming book, In Shock

Her lecture, “Empathy in the ICU,” given on World Sepsis Day was shared more than 4,000 times on social media. Her New England Journal of Medicine article, “A View from the Edge— Creating a Culture of Caring,” reached 90,000 people and ranked in the 99th percentile for any journal publication in terms of social media reach.