Dr. Zarina Ali strives to be mentor for future female neurosurgeons— 5 highlights

Megan Wood -   Print  |

Zarina Ali, MD, the first female neurosurgeon at Philadelphia-based Pennsylvania Hospital, strives to be a mentor for female medical students considering neurosurgery, Philly Voice reports.

Dr. Ali specializes in intracranial brain tumors, degenerative spine surgery, peripheral nerve surgery, entrapment neuropathy, brain trauma and spinal stenosis.


Here are five highlights:


1. During her neurosurgery residency at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Ali was one of three female physicians. The women had no female mentors.


2. Dr. Ali found her way and now serves as an assistant professor of neurosurgery at Pennsylvania Hospital. Many female medical students have sought her out for advice on the work; commitment; and starting a family.


3. A mother of three, Dr. Ali understands the difficulty of balancing motherhood and neurosurgery. She recommends focusing more on one aspect at a time. For example, when she had a baby, she planned ahead to focus on research as opposed to the long and unpredictable hours of clinic.


4. Although equipped with impressive male mentors, who taught her about the mental, emotional and physical tolls the specialty demanded, Dr. Ali also wished she had the guidance of a female mentor.


5. She hopes to be that mentor for the future generation of female neurosurgeons, offering the advice of being open-minded but realistic.


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