Notable Alums


Specialty: Critical Care

Graduation Year: 2002

Rana Awdish

Rana Awdish, M.D. ’02, is Section Head of Pulmonary Hypertension at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit and is a practicing Critical Care Medicine physician. She also serves as medical director of Care Experience for the Henry Ford Health System, she is an Associate Professor of Internal Medicine for the Wayne State University School of Medicine.

Dr. Awdish is the author of the critically-acclaimed, best-selling memoir, “In Shock: My Journey from Death to Recovery and the Redemptive Power of Hope.” After suffering a sudden critical illness, she has devoted much of her career to improving empathy through communication. She lectures to physicians, health care leaders and medical schools across the country. Her book has been integrated into the curriculum of medical schools and universities across the United States and the UK and has been translated into eight languages.

She was awarded the Speak-Up Hero award in 2014 for her work establishing a workshop-based program called CLEAR (Connect, Listen, Empathize, Align, Respect), which trains faculty and medical trainees in relationship-based compassionate communication skills using improvisational actors.

While at the WSU School of Medicine, Dr. Awdish was inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha national medical honor society. She was named Henry Ford Hospital’s Critical Care Teacher of the Year in 2016; National Compassionate Caregiver of the Year by The Schwartz Center and Physician of the Year by Press Ganey in 2017; and received the 2019 Ake Grenvik Honorary Award from the Society for Critical Care Medicine. She was inducted into the Gold Humanism Honor Society in 2019.

Her book has garnered her interviews with The Times, The Telegraph, The British Broadcasting Corp., National Public Radio, NBC’s “Today,” MedPage, Health Leaders Media and Beckers Hospital Review. She has written for Harvard Business Review, Huffington Post and the New England Journal of Medicine. Her Perspectives article, “A View From the Edge,” in the latter publication, has recorded 120,000 views and is ranked in the 99th percentile for reach.

“My education at WSU SOM prepared me more fully than I could have imagined for a career I couldn't have dreamt possible.”