Women Physicians Section (WPS) Inspiration Award
Sudha Nagalingam, MD, FACP

“Dr. Nagalingam is an HIV/AIDs specialist at a FQHC, caring for vulnerable patient populations, including LGBTQ+, those experiencing homelessness, refugees, and those struggling with addiction. She is extremely warm and humble to all those around her and has been an inspiration to me as a medical student in modeling servant leadership and genuine care.”

Nominated by Sarah Hemzawi

Kim T. Nguyen, MD

“Dr. Nguyen enthusiasm for helping students achieve their goals is unparalleled. She continually checks in with students and even answers my questions when I reach out on a weekend or during her vacations. She goes above and beyond to answer my questions or help in any way possible. Although I initially reached out regarding mentorship in the field of anesthesiology, she has encouraged my exploration of other fields as well, and has even helped connect me to other physicians outside of anesthesiology. Lastly, I appreciate her relentlessly positive attitude and honest advice. Thank you, Dr. Nguyen!”

Nominated by Susanna Wang

“Working with and knowing Dr. Nguyen for the past eight years has been a privilege. She consistently demonstrates commitment and compassion for patient care. Her dedication and compassion to her patients range from presenting senior classes in an educational outreach program to the commitment and compassion she shows during her inpatient rounds and bedside teaching. As a result, she has the trust of not only the patients she cares for but the students she mentors with her outstanding medical knowledge and commitment to the medical profession.”

Nominated by Ecler Jaqua, MD

Carrie L. Nieman MD, MPH

“Dr. Nieman is currently an assistant professor in otolaryngology and an NIH-funded researcher seeking to address and understand health disparities among older adults, particularly among vulnerable populations. She’s been an excellent, involved, and impactful mentor.”

Nominated by Audrey Mossman, MD


Matilda Parente, MD

“Expert in Integrative Medicine and Certified Specialist of Wine, Dr. Parente has traveled the world as a subject matter expert on the benefits and drawbacks of imbibing. Also a prolific science writer with an uncanny ability to distill complicated medical-ese into comprehensible concepts that are easily digestible by lay readers, she is a stellar role model in nontraditional areas of health.”

Nominated by Prerna Mona Khanna, MD, MPH

Cara Anne Poland, MD, MEd

“Dr. Poland is an incredible mentor and patient advocate. She strives to put her people first; whether student, friend or patient. From my experience, she goes above and beyond to ensure the success of her students. She is not afraid to be vulnerable or discuss hard experiences from her past. Through her mentorship, I have developed a passion for addiction medicine.” – Emily Beardsley

“For the past 4 years, Dr. Poland has gone out of her way to support and encourage young aspiring physicians in the field of addiction medicine. Not only does she model exceptional clinical excellence and respect for all patients, but she also extends that same respect and empathy to her students, especially in supporting and uplifting the voices of students from difficult backgrounds.” – Christine Schafer

Harini Rathinamanickam, MD

“Dr. Rathinamanickam is a dedicated and talented clinician who also devotes her time and energy to teaching students and residents. I admire her going the extra mile to expand her horizons in research and scholarly activity. Dr. Rathinamanickam is an inspiring woman in medicine!”

Nominated by Vidhya Prakash, MD


Anita Ravi, MD, MPH, MSHP, FAAFP

“Dr. Ravi is committed to making the world a better place by caring for the most vulnerable patients. She has innovative ideas and unparalleled commitment. Her kindness and compassion make those around her feel seen, valued, safe, and loved.”

Nominated by Susan Hingle, MD


Aryana Sharrak, MD

“Want it more than you fear it." Dr. Sharrak has been an inspiration for me and empowered my graduating class to strive confidently and purposefully toward their goals. As a first-generation medical student and a woman in a surgical field, her story is one of tenacity, self-advocacy, and hard work. She taught me to be confident in my abilities regardless of who else is in the room. She goes above and beyond to share her experiences with my classmates, and is extremely respected by our surgical interest group…thankful to have met her and to have her as a role model!”

Nominated by Susanna Wang

Nicole A. Smith, MD, MPH

“Dr. Smith treats her students like colleagues and values their input. She encourages you to challenge yourself and holds you accountable. Her invaluable mentorship arms her students with confidence to meet their true potential.”

Nominated by Marie Discenza


“Dr. Steward was one of my most important mentors. He regularly pushed me outside of my comfort zone without me knowing he was doing that. In doing so, he quietly and effectively opened up many incredible career opportunities that were career and life changing. I am forever grateful.”

Nominated by Susan Hingle, MD

Ada D. Stewart, MD

“Dr. Stewart is board chair for the American Academy of Family Physicians and chair of our Commission on Diversity, Equity and Inclusiveness in Family Medicine. She has been a mentor and a friend for longer than I can remember. Her story is an inspiration, but what inspires me is seeing her model what inclusive mentorship in action truly means. Her ability to truly listen, reflect back and help you take the next step on your own leadership journey is incredible. I am forever grateful for having her in my life.”

Nominated by Margot Savoy, MD

Melanie S. Sulistio, MD

“Not only is Dr. Sulistio an excellent cardiologist and medical educator, she is also a wife, and a proud mom of 3 children. She is an incredible mentor to women in Cardiology, and she has served as a sponsor in my career, even after I started my cardiology fellowship at another institution. She is a true role model and a #sheforshe advocate.”

Nominated by Kristen Wong, MD


Mai-Linh Ngoc Tran, MD, FAAFP

“Dr. Tran is an inspiration. Along with being an excellent physician, she is heavily involved with student and resident education, Spanish immersion courses for medical staff, and organized medicine. She works tirelessly for the betterment of the community. She is a highly motivated advocate for organized medicine, her specialty, her patients, and the community. She is a role model for physicians and students.”

Nominated by Prashanth Bhat, MD

Jennifer J. Tsai, MD

“Dr. Tsai is an incredible mentor who has used her medical and scientific knowledge to guide and inspire her students. As a physician scientist, she uses her combined skill sets to involve others and advance their understanding. She knows the struggles of being a minority and a woman in science. She takes time to support other women and modulate for them what it is like to pursue a challenging career and form their own voice. She deserves every recognition as an advocate for women in medicine who constantly empowers the younger generation to pursue this career path.”

Nominated by Salma Youssef

Sarah A. Watkins, DO

“Dr. Watkins is the Medical Director at the West Texas Regional Poison Control Center and an Emergency Medicine Physician in El Paso, TX. She leads her medical teams gracefully, confidently, and competently, and she is passionate about teaching medical students. She is a great role model for an aspiring female physician.”

Nominated by Alexandra Armato


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