Farzana Hoque, MD, MRCP (UK), FACP, FRCP, discusses the privilege of serving patients in moments of joy and immense challenge

Farzana Hoque, MD, MRCP (UK), FACP, FRCP
Dr. Farzana Hoque with her husband at Grand Canyon National Park.


Farzana Hoque, MD, MRCP (UK), FACP, FRCP
Associate Professor of Medicine
Acting Internship Co-Director
Saint Louis University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri
Medical Director, Bordley Tower, SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital, St. Louis, Missouri

Dhaka University, Dhaka, Bangladesh

Saint Luke's Hospital, Chesterfield, Missouri

What is your current position?

I hold the position of Associate Professor of Medicine and Acting Internship Co-Director at Saint Louis University School of Medicine. Additionally, I have the privilege of serving as the Inaugural Medical Director of Bordley Tower of SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital. I am thrilled to be a Deputy Editor for the Journal of BMANA.

Where did you attend medical school and post-graduate training?

I completed a 6-year MD program at Dhaka University in Bangladesh, after which I practiced as an attending physician in my home country. Seeking further professional growth, I pursued an internal medicine residency in the United States.

Why did you choose to become a physician?

Becoming a doctor has been the greatest decision I've ever made. My parents are lawyers, and my mother believed that medicine is an incredibly captivating and fulfilling career. Her values and inspiration propelled me to strive for excellence each day, ultimately becoming the first physician in my family. I find it awe-inspiring that as physicians, we have the privilege of serving patients in moments of joy, such as the birth of a baby, as well as in times of immense challenges, such as life-threatening illnesses and loss. The title “Dr.” not only serves as my prefix, but it also symbolizes my lifelong passion for healing and making a difference in the lives of others.

What field of internal medicine did you select and why?

Hospital medicine holds a special place in my heart as it allows me to assume multiple roles. Being a frontline physician at a busy, academic hospital, I encounter a diverse range of critically ill patients through a multidisciplinary and evidence-based approach. Besides providing acute, complex patient care, I have the privilege of mentoring and teaching the next generation of physicians and advanced practice providers. However, my greatest satisfaction comes from the educational interactions and connections I establish with my patients and their families.

Please describe a typical day in your practice.

The beauty of my job lies in the dynamic nature of each day. I consider it a true privilege to offer acute medical care to the underserved population in St. Louis County. My daily routine usually starts with reviewing patient charts, followed by bedside rounds alongside medical students and residents. In the afternoon, after completing rounds, I devote time to teaching our learners, participating in multidisciplinary rounds, documenting, and conducting family meetings. This holistic approach ensures that our patients receive the best patient-centered care.

Dr. Farzana Hoque with her husband Akon.

What are some of your special interests professionally?

Continuous learning is a principle I strongly embrace. To hone my leadership skills, I have achieved certificates in “Leadership Principles” from Harvard University and “Healthcare Management” from Yale School of Management, as well as the Certificate in Physician Leadership from the American Association for Physician Leadership and the American College of Physicians.

Teaching is my passion, and I have had the honor of being invited as a speaker at numerous regional, national, and international conferences. To expand my reach and share knowledge with medical learners at all levels, I have created a YouTube channel where I upload educational videos. This platform allows me to make a global impact by sharing my expertise and skills. I have had the privilege of mentoring both U.S. and international medical students and residents, which is incredibly rewarding for me.

Dr. Hoque was an invited speaker at a National Conference.

What are your interests and hobbies outside of medicine?

I have trained in Bengali classical music and performed in various cultural programs. My dedication to music has earned me awards in juried competitions. I am also an avid traveler, finding joy and enlightenment in exploring new places.

What advice would you like to share with medical students or what do you wish someone would have told you while you were in medical school?

Life and career are not linear paths; they are filled with unique twists and turns. In those challenging moments, it is crucial to have faith in our own potential and to be kind to ourselves.

Mr. Mozammel Hoque, Dr. Hoque’s father who is a lawyer
by occupation.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

My greatest achievement is yet to be acquired. As an international medical graduate with very limited resources, I have faced numerous challenges on my journey to fulfill my dream of becoming a practicing physician in the United States. These obstacles became opportunities for personal growth, fostering profound empathy and compassion, which allow me to deeply understand and empathize with the struggles patients face.

What is your most treasured possession?

I believe that nothing in life is permanent, and this understanding reminds me to cherish every moment I spend with my family and in service to others. These experiences are the true treasures of my life, bringing joy, fulfillment, and a sense of purpose.

Dr. Hoque was awarded the "Physician of the Year" Award
by SSM Health.

What is your motto?

My motto is to treat others as I want to be treated. I ensure that each patient receives high-quality, compassionate care along with respect and dignity just as I would expect from my own physician. Similarly, I strive to treat medical students and residents with the same respect and thoughtfulness that I would desire from my attending physician.

Which living person do you most admire?

The living person whom I most admire is my father, Mr. Mozammel Hoque, a lawyer and business professional. He is my biggest cheerleader, constantly encouraging and motivating me to sharpen my skills. His dedication, positive mindset, persistence, and kind words continue to influence and guide me in all aspects of my life.

Back to the August 2023 issue of ACP IMpact

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