When she takes time to reflect, Dr. Rasha Kazi says her decision to become a physician was borne out of a desire to help others and inspiration from her uncle, an internist who left a successful practice in California and returned home to India and Pakistan to help and care for the underserved.
“It was really inspiring,” Dr. Kazi said recently. “It stuck with me and I’ve known since I was 8 years old that this is what I wanted to do.”
Now, Dr. Kazi is drawing on that inspiration as an EMS fellow at the medical school. She was welcomed into the program on Monday, July 2, just a few weeks after completing three years of training in the Pediatric Residency Program at WMed.
As part of the curriculum for the one-year EMS Fellowship, Dr. Kazi will be presented with an array of opportunities in EMS operations, administration, medical oversight, education, teaching and clinical care in the pre-hospital environment. She also serves as an assistant medical director for the Kalamazoo County Medical Control Authority, an agency charged with coordinating and overseeing the EMS system in Kalamazoo County that is housed within the medical school’s Department of Emergency Medicine.
Dr. Kazi said she is excited to learn more about initiating medical care and managing medical emergencies in the field. She also is looking forward to growing her knowledge about adult medicine and the chance to use her experience as a pediatrician to help paramedics and other first responders become more comfortable with treating children in the field.
“I’m excited about being involved in research projects and working with the community and our different agencies to ensure that we’re providing adequate care to Kalamazoo County,” Dr. Kazi said.
Dr. Kazi is a native of Los Angeles and completed her undergraduate studies at UC San Diego where she earned a degree in Political Science ad International Relations. She earned her MD degree from Ross University School of Medicine in 2014 and began her pediatrics residency at WMed in 2015. She served as a co-chief resident in her final year of training at the medical school.
“It was a great learning environment,” Dr. Kazi said of her time as a resident at WMed. “It was a really great experience.”
Dr. Kazi is the sixth fellow accepted into the EMS fellowship at WMed and Dr. William Fales, director of the fellowship program, said Dr. Kazi is believed to be one of the first – if not the first – pediatric-trained EMS fellow in the country.
“She is an exceptionally strong clinician and I think she will be a great fit for EMS,” Dr. Fales said. “We think her experience and background in pediatrics will provide something that will be of benefit to the EMS system as she uses that expertise to examine the EMS system and how it operates.”
As her journey in the medical field continues, Dr. Kazi said she plans to use the experience she will gain over the next year at WMed in her pursuit of a three-year fellowship in Pediatric Emergency Medicine.
“I feel like the emergency room was just made for me,” Dr. Kazi said. “I like the fact that I can see multiple patients at a time and I can do what I need to in the moment and make an impact right then and there.”