Welcome to this edition of the FSP member spotlight. This month we are excited to feature Aziza Nassar, MD, MPH! Dr. Nassar is the Chair of the Department of Pathology at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida. Dr. Nassar has been a long-time member of the FSP and is an active participant in FSP meetings, representing her academic program at the FSP’s Fellowship Fair and also serves as a representative on the FSP academic chairs workgroup.
Aziza Nassar, MD, MPH
Chair and Consultant
Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine,
What is your current role?
Chair and Consultant, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, FL., and also Director of Cytopathology.
What is the best part of your occupation?
Mentoring and coaching my peers, trainees, allied health staff, medical students, and rising pathologists.
How did you become interested in pathology?
I became very much interested in pathology, when I had my first histology course in medical school, and realized the beauty and art of the details of histologic sections of normal and diseased human tissues.
How did you become involved with the FSP?
I became involved when I moved down to FL, 2013 and get intrigued with the educational and networking activities that the society provides, but the most important connection that attracts me to the society was through my colleague, Dr. Qihui (Jim) Zhai who is a long-life active member and president-elect of the FSP.
Explain how you benefit from being a member of FSP.
By advocating for other women and minorities in the field of pathology; and by offering mentoring and networking opportunities for the next generation of Pathologists.
What would you like to see occur in the field of pathology (i.e., scientific advances, greater awareness of the field, etc.) during your career?
I would like to see the dissemination and adoption of digital pathology in all laboratory practices which have recently been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The application of data analytics and informatics in the field of pathology with the development of AHI tools for optimization of laboratory tests utilization and adoption of best laboratory practices.
The fast adoption of new molecular techniques such as next-generation sequencing (NGS) in several areas of pathology including microbiology, HLA, and oncologic malignancies.
What is something surprising that most people do not know about you?
That I am originally from Africa – specifically Sudan; most often they associate my name with being Middle Eastern, which is true in the sense that I am of Lebanese descendant but also a second-generation Sudanese.
Is there anything I did not ask that you would like me to mention in the article?
That I am a big fan of all the Pathology organizations and societies that are lobbying and advocating for our specialty including the CAP, ASCP, ASC, etc. Without these organizations, our voices will not be heard especially during the current crisis in the health care industry in terms of limited and declining reimbursement, such as PAMA.
I am also indebted to all my mentors and colleagues who have supported me throughout my career to become an effective leader in the field of Pathology.
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