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Qaali Hussein, MD, FACS

Qaali Hussein, MD, FACS

Introduce yourself to our audience. Tell us who you are and what you are currently focused on.

I am a trauma surgeon, mother of six, and an an entrepreneur. I am currently focused on shining a light on aspects of diversity and inclusion that usually do not receive much attention: intersectionality. While we focus on learning about and improving our implicit biases, less attention is paid to the persistent explicit bias many women of color continue to face. I also focus on how we treat motherhood equitably.

Tell us about your favorite Ellevate Network memory or success story. Why are you a member?

I've seen many women's voices uplifted on the Ellevate Network through the power of story telling. I want to tell my story so that we can tackle the obstacles which are still in place for many women who remain voiceless.

How would you define your professional mission?

My mission is to make the playing field a little more even for underrepresented minorities in accessing opportunities. I want to redefine how we talk about motherhood: we need to stop making it a limiting factor for women's ambitions. We need to change the conversation to how do we accommodate motherhood in the workplace instead of how do we make mothers fit into a system that was never designed for motherhood.

What qualities does it take for someone to be successful in your line of work?

Persistence; Stubbornness; Hard work.

What is one of your most memorable career accomplishments?

After having six kids in a residency program that had yet to graduate a women who pursued motherhood as a young trainee, after my graduation, many women in the program felt comfortable having kids while in training.

What are some career challenges on your radar?

I am comfortable in my career currently. The challenge I foresee is the diversity and inclusion work that I hope to do in addressing discrimination and racism in medicine.

We’d love to hear more about your career path. What led you to where you are today?

I've always loved medicine and surgery. The journey was especially difficult as a hijab wearing Muslim woman with strong maternal instincts was no one's idea of what a trauma surgeon looks like.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

I love being in a position to comfort and console patients and their families on one of the worst days of their lives.

What legacy do you hope to leave through your work?

The legacy I want to leave is that I've changed how we look at women's ambitions, that intersectionality and motherhood are not viewed as limiting one's potential. I also want to leave the legacy that we can be the ones to remove obstacles out of our own way and do not have to wait for a savior.

Who are your role models?

My grandmother.

What advice would you offer future leading ladies wishing to break into your industry?

You have the power to fix broken systems.


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