June 17, 2022

Women in Radiology Spotlight: Q&A With Rydhwana Hossain, MD

Amanda P. Marrero-González, MD, Cardiothoracic Imaging Fellow at University of Maryland Medical Center

The ACR® RFS Women and Diversity Subcommittee recognizes and highlights the value of women in radiology and leadership. The ACR Resident and Fellow eNews Women in Radiology Spotlight series celebrates the achievements of brilliant early career radiologists from around the country by highlighting their stories, lessons and pearls of wisdom.

Rydhwana Hossain, MDThis edition recognizes Rydhwana Hossain, MD, a distinguished cardiothoracic radiologist at the University of Maryland Medical Center, where she serves as Associate Professor of Radiology, Director of Medical Student Education and Assistant Residency Program Director.

Dr. Hossain completed radiology residency at Mount Sinai Beth Israel, New York City, and cardiothoracic imaging fellowship training at Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, before joining the faculty at the University of Maryland in 2017. She has special interests in both research and medical education.

What do you find most rewarding about your role as an educator/mentor?

I’ve known some of my students since their first week of medical school. Having the unique position to mentor, guide and advise them through the challenges of their careers is most rewarding. They start their careers with curiosity and flourish through research and matches, ultimately moving on as residents in our field and paving the way as the next generation of radiologists. It is a personally gratifying part of my position to be an influence in their individual journeys and hearing about their career achievements.

What motivates you?

My parents are immigrants from Bangladesh who wholeheartedly believe that you can accomplish anything with education and hard work. So much of my childhood was based on that principle and that we could do anything that we wanted to do — as long we work hard! I also have a sister who is a trailblazer, leading mergers and acquisitions for a publicly traded company in a heavily male-dominated field. She reminds me that representation matters and not to be afraid to be the first to lead the pack. One of my biggest lessons in life from my late father, a professor of genetics, was always to pay it forward and help those looking to strive for more. So, I am fortunate to have my family and their work ethic as incredible role models and motivators.

What has been the most challenging part of your career?

The most challenging part of my career, like many people in the working parent world, is creating the balance between work and family. I have many career goals, ambitions and dreams to still accomplish. At times, it is daunting to recognize the time that pursuing my goals takes away from family life. I have been very lucky to have a supportive husband who encourages all my pursuits, and together we balance our family’s needs. I am also very fortunate to be part of a very supportive section at the University of Maryland, which allows me to not only grow professionally but also personally.

Reflecting on your own journey, what wisdom do you have for aspiring trainees?

I cannot stress enough the importance of stepping out of one’s comfort zone and saying “Yes” to opportunities as often as they are available. I would advise that trainees challenge themselves to get involved as much as they can and as early as possible. Our passions don’t develop out of thin air and the more experiences and diverse opportunities trainees expose themselves to, will ultimately help them decide how they want to curate their careers.

How can radiology improve the recruitment of women physicians?

It starts with women physicians already in the field being true role models. We have the responsibility to be visible in early medical student education and to be active participants in curriculum development. Participating in these ways allow us to create opportunities for future generations of women physicians in this amazing field. It is a privilege to be a leader, and when we invest time in growing the learners and trainees, we provide representation for their futures and a mirror that reflects the professional journeys they desire.