Sohayla Rostami, DO: A supportive approach to patients, peers


The AMA “Members Move Medicine” series profiles a wide variety of doctors, offering a glimpse into the passions of women and men navigating new courses in American medicine.

On the move with: Sohayla Rostami, DO, a general surgery resident in New York.

AMA member since: 2014.

What inspired me to pursue a career in medicine: My affection for medicine has always been intrinsic, but increased over the years from seeing how physicians change lives on a micro and macro scale.

One driving force was losing my uncle when I was young. I quickly learned that medicine could prevent the loss of life or help cope with difficult realities of life. From then on, I wanted to be someone who could prevent others from feeling the pain I did, or someone who could facilitate the acceptance of those emotions.

How I move medicine: I create a positive environment to empower my patients and colleagues. I believe it is vital we support each other in our medical community so that we are able to best serve our patients and reach our common goals.

With colleagues, I highlight their strengths, show camaraderie and express my gratitude for their hard work. For my patients, I listen to and acknowledge their concerns, keep them involved in their care and educate them about their conditions.   

Career highlights: As a medical student, I was honored to serve as vice chair for our AMA Medical Student Section region and on the Standing Committee on Global and Public Health. I worked closely with other student and physician leaders. They inspire me to strive for a better future in medicine and to be proactive on important issues we face in health care.

Likewise, my advocacy efforts transcended to the international realm as I began working with physicians in the Iranian Health and Medical Education Ministry to foster professional relationships between the American and Iranian medical communities.   

Advice I’d give to those interested in pursuing a career in medicine: Many of us are in awe of the science that drives medicine, but what distinguishes physicians from other scientists is the connection we form with other individuals through our work.

It can be found in the raw and beautiful moments when your efforts translate to a positive change in someone’s life, especially during vulnerable times. For those pursuing a medical career, that aspect will be your driving force and will help you overcome the array of challenges along the way.

Aspect of my work that means the most: I am humbled by my patients’ trust in my work and their confidence to make me a partner through difficult journeys in their lives. Likewise, I am absolutely privileged to be a member of the AMA, a community that serves as an extended family and where I have found solace. I could not be a part of this incredible group if it was not for this rewarding profession.

Visit MembershipMovesMedicine.com to learn more about other AMA members who are relentlessly moving medicine through advocacy, education, patient care and practice innovation, and join or renew today.