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Opening Doors for Women in Medicine

August 2021



THROUGH ALL MY ADVENTURES in healthcare, I’ve been driven by the expressions in the eyes of my patients. They look to me with such trust and vulnerability, and I never want to let them down.

Growing up the daughter of immigrants, I embraced every opportunity that came my way. In middle school, I volunteered at a stroke rehabilitation center. While still in high school, I discovered a dyslipidemia variant in the blood samples of Pakistani factory workers. Between medical school and residency, I worked with an incredible team of cardiovascular researchers at a large inner-city hospital.

Through these experiences, I realized I wanted my career to bridge the clinical and human sides of medicine. Today, I strive to deliver the best of both worlds to my patients as an attending hospitalist with Vituity. In my first year after residency, there are three areas in particular where Vituity has helped me thrive.

Pathways to Leadership
In 2020, I joined Vituity as a hospital medicine administrative fellow. This unique program helps physicians learn the business of medicine and develop the skills to lead systemic change. As an administrative fellow, I receive mentoring and guidance from medical directors, regional directors, and even our chief medical officer.

Fellows also engage in projects that improve care quality and efficiency. For me, that meant developing a virtual telehealth curriculum that offers online learning modules and AI-driven simulations. I’m now creating a scoring tool to provide actionable feedback for participants. I hope that my work will empower my colleagues to provide high-quality care where and when patients need it.

My fellowship has undoubtedly accelerated my path to leadership. During my first year as attending, I was appointed lead advocacy coordinator for hospital medicine. I work closely with Vituity leaders and professional organizations to shape policy impacting practice and patient care in this capacity.

Ensuring Equal Opportunity
My fellowship also increased my exposure to actively championing for diversity and inclusion in healthcare. It’s empowering to see how Vituity finds solutions that make our providers more resilient. Our leaders are committed to creating an inclusive workplace that fosters resilience and celebrates each team member’s contributions. This is especially critical during the pandemic, when clinicians are working under extraordinary stress.

One way that Vituity supports diverse team members is through its enterprise resource groups. I currently co-lead Vituity’s women’s group, which provides a safe space for networking, connection, and leadership development. Our discussions range from improving investment literacy to workplace safety. It’s exciting to see women from all areas of the organization supporting one another.

Investing in Our Communities
I completed my internal medicine residency in the minority-majority city of Macon, Georgia. Here I was privileged to care for diverse patients with rich life stories. Their struggles to access care made me passionate about bridging health equity gaps.

That’s why I was thrilled when our CEO, Dr. Imamu Tomlinson, led the creation of the Vituity Cares Foundation in 2020. Vituity Cares has a mission to improve the health of underserved communities and develop the next generation of diverse healthcare leaders. One of my favorite initiatives is the Vituity Cares mentorship program, which pairs clinicians with diverse high school students interested in STEM and healthcare careers. It’s incredibly fulfilling to help them navigate their journeys and make a true difference in their lives.

To the Next Generation of Leaders
If you’re motivated to transform care, impact your patients’ lives, work collaboratively across teams, and grow as a clinician and leader—congratulations! You are exactly what healthcare needs today, and we are lucky to have you.

Here are three lessons that have served me well in my career journey:

• Find a mentor or a support system to inspire you, guide you, and help you understand your unique calling.

• Be open to opportunities and embrace those that truly speak to your heart.

• Remember that everyone around you has something to offer. Highlight the strengths of others and work to empower team members. Synergy is where the magic happens.

Healthcare offers many avenues to give back. As providers, it’s our responsibility to use every resource available to improve the lives of patients. As with any adventure, challenges will come. But together, we can create a brighter and more equitable future for all. And we invite you to join us in that mission.

Learn more about Vituity careers in hospital medicine.

Anum A. Niazi, MD, serves as a Vituity administrative fellow and lead hospitalist advocacy coordinator, practicing in Fallon, IL. She was elected co-leader of the women’s enterprise resource group, Women at Vituity Excel, where she strives to uplift others in the organization. She is an ABIM-certified hospitalist who completed her internal medicine residency at Mercer University School of Medicine/Coliseum Medical Centers. In addition, she’s a former Vanderbilt University Chancellor’s Scholar.

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