Student Spotlight: Hedi Fakhar, Class of 2020

I am Hedi Fakhar, and I am a first-year Master of Science in Anesthesia student at Case Western Reserve University in Houston, Texas. I am a Persian who was born and raised in Iran. After managing at least a hundred natural deliveries, I graduated overseas with a bachelor’s degree in Nurse Midwifery.

Immigrating to the United States and adapting to its environment wasn’t easy, but I always appreciate the many valuable opportunities that immigration brought me. Since the first day that I moved to the States I was fascinated with Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center, which is the largest medical center in the world. TMC is probably the most important advantage of Houston for us as healthcare providers.

There are lots of fun weekly events in Houston as well as museums, restaurants with food from all over the world, beautiful and modern shopping centers that attract everyone, and the annual Rodeo. These all make living in Houston more enjoyable. Right after immigration, I started shadowing different healthcare professionals as I always wanted to advance my education in healthcare. While I was shadowing a doctor at Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center, I learned about the certified anesthesiologist assistant profession, and knew this would be a perfect fit for me. While taking the required courses, I volunteered at the anesthesia clinic at TMC for more than a year, and met some CWRU MSA students. While I was impressed by their vast knowledge and high level of professional training that CWRU was offering to them, I would always imagine myself in that white coat that they were wearing. To be more exposed to the anesthesia field and advance my knowledge in this field, I also worked as the Research Coordinator at the Pediatric Anesthesiology Department at Baylor College of Medicine. I was so blessed to get accepted to CWRU as my first choice and to finally start my training in TMC, which has offered an endless variety of cases since I started the Program.

During our first year, we complete general rotations. I have done all of my rotations at TMC except one. Getting here hasn’t been easy for me at all, and it comes with many hours of studying, long days in the operating room, and lots of compromises. But, I am so thankful for the great education, endless support, and diverse clinical training that I’m getting through CWRU. I felt extremely proud last week that we were practicing neuraxial anesthesia in our simulation lab because it took me back to my former days as a nurse midwife when I had to watch the anesthesia team place the spinal or epidural anesthesia. Now I'm the one who was practicing its placement.

I'm looking forward to the day when I place my first spinal or epidural in my OB rotation this coming September.

About this post: The Student Spotlight series highlights MSA students in their second year of coursework in Cleveland, Houston, and Washington. The series is a student-led initiative, and is designed to share current student experiences with prospective students.