Shafqat Shah, MD
Department of Pediatrics, Division of Hematology-Oncology
As a newly minted MS3, my time on the pediatrics hematology-oncology service spoiled me for all other rotations. It wasn’t just the kids and their parents who hooked me. It was the attendings, all of whom prioritized medical-student education, included me in clinical discussions, took time to deliver clarifying talks on complicated subjects, and made me feel like a real part of the team. Dr Shah in particular treated me like a future colleague rather than simply a student. For example, she asked me to research a question she had about a patient’s chemo protocol. She then surprised me by sending my presentation to another attending to read and discuss. I had thought she’d simply given me a research exercise, but instead she had been treating me like a professional who could bring something real and useful to the table.
Within a day, she had noticed how much I loved the rotation and began mentoring me. She spent time talking to me about what drew her to the field and of the profound responsibility she felt to her patients and their parents. When I shadowed with her a few weeks later, a parent told me that Dr. Shah never failed to move heaven and earth for her patients and care for them as if they were her own. I can believe it. She models kindness and compassion and never lets herself or her patients forget that the people she cares for are whole human beings, not just a disease, and certainly not just a patient
On my last day, she took the time to sit down with me one on one and give me a master’s class on transfusion medicine, simply because she loves medical students and loves to teach. She has kept in touch ever since, letting me shadow her in clinic and reminding me what a privilege it is to learn from a medical educator like her.