Ambereen Sleemi

Ambereen Sleemi, MS '16

I’ve been a clinician for over 15 years. I love the work that I do here and abroad as a urogyencologic surgeon. I care for women with pelvic floor disorders that can really make one’s quality of life unbearable. When I received my MD from George Washington University, I also obtained an MPH. I knew that I wanted to incorporate public health into my practice.

My interest in obstetric fistula and maternal birth trauma began almost 15 years ago in Niger, after which I did a pelvic floor surgical fellowship and underwent formal training as a fistula surgeon. Since then, I have worked with the Eritrean Women’s Project, in partnership with the U.N. Population Fund and the Eritrean Ministry of Health, as well and the Liberian Ministry and many other organizations. I co-founded a global health NGO which works with Haitian post-graduate medical trainees to enhance surgical and clinical skills, but also epidemiologic and research methods.

I decided to pursue the executive MS because I wanted to develop more in-depth epidemiologic knowledge that could be use across borders. I envisioned using my training to help create a research method curriculum in developing countries so the tools to research and publish scientific articles are in the hands of professionals who care for women with conditions, such as obstetric fistula and maternal birth trauma, on a daily basis. That came to fruition last October, where with the help of MS faculty, Dr. Janine Genkinger, we put together a research methods workshop for healthcare providers at a major surgical conference in Kampala and almost 100 participants. I have since incorporated epidemiologic training into the Ob/Gyn post-graduate training program in Liberia. It will really help young clinicians approach medicine in a much broader context.

The executive MS lent itself to my hectic schedule, usually involving lots of travel. Now, I’ve shifted primarily into global surgical work and am able to pursue a degree that was important to my career and future, without putting my care for patients and training for residents on hiatus.

The quality of the educational experience has been tremendous and changed the way I read scientific papers, review journal articles for peer-review publications, and formulate research hypotheses. The support of faculty has been invaluable. The scope of experience that my classmates have was tremendous! Besides being remarkable people in vast disciplines, they shared their varied experiences and added an extra dimension to the learning environment. I am thrilled that I am able to use my newly obtained skills to care for the most vulnerable populations and also to help train a new cadre of epidemiologist.

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