The New York Times Book Review

Putting Down the Scalpel, Picking Up the Pen

A review of medical memoirs by author Uzodinma Iwela.


"Awdish’s book is the one I wished we were given as assigned reading our first year of medical school, alongside our white coats and stethoscopes. It delivers the sobering message that being a physician does not confer upon you the ability to exist outside of life."

In Shock: How Nearly Dying Made Me a Better Intensive Care Doctor

This doctor had a near-death experience in her own hospital, forcing her to rethink her ideas. Now she fights to put humanity back into healthcare, says Cathy Rentzenbrink

The Times Book review: In Shock: From Doctor to Patient 

Survivors of sudden, shocking illnesses, notes the American doctor Rana Awdish, always comment on how “bland and unremarkable” the day was, right up to the moment when they were struck down.

When it happened to Awdish, she was shopping for shoes. She was six-months pregnant and still working as an intensive-care doctor...

The Times: The doctor who almost died in her own hospital

When Dr Rana Awdish, seven months pregnant and in severe pain, was rushed to hospital, she was shocked to discover what it was like to be a patient. Now she’s written a controversial book that argues too many doctors see people as a diagnosis – and not human beings... 

The Daily Mail: The intensive care doctor who became a patient on her own ward  and learnt a lesson about the relationship between staff and the sick 

Dr Rana Awdish, an intensive care doctor, was seven months pregnant when she lost her baby and nearly died herself as a result of catastrophic bleeding, caused by the rupture of a benign tumour. 

In an extraordinary memoir, she details her experiences as a patient, offering a searing critique of the inability of medical staff — including herself — to see the patient behind the disease...

The Telegraph: The Importance of Kindness

“We are at a spinning point,” says Awdish. “The existing system is not sustainable and we are transparent about that. When you distill medicine down to basic elements you get to relationships. I do believe that affects outcome,” she says. Medical care at its best, she believes is “a focussed, scientific form of empathy.'

The Huffington Post: A Near-Death Experience Taught Me To Be A Better Doctor

I knew I wanted to be a physician from the time I was five years old. I watched my mother on the phone, as she described the way my infant brother was drooling, and leaning forward (tri-poding) in his crib. I listened as the pediatrician put the seemingly vague pieces together into a diagnosis of epiglottitis. It seemed medicine was this beautiful melding of science and listening, and from that moment, it was all I ever wanted to be. I spent the next three decades of my life, following a vectored curriculum, believing I would emerge transformed and able to heal...

Prior Press and Awards

2017 Press Ganey Physician of the Year

The Press Ganey Physician of the Year Award recognizes a physician who demonstrates exceptional leadership and who has realized tangible success improving the patient experience, reducing patient and caregiver suffering and who promotes compassionate connected care in their organization.

2017 National Compassionate Caregiver

of the Year

The Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare, a national leader in the movement to make compassion a vital element in every patient-caregiver interaction, named Rana Awdish, MD, of the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, the 2017 National Compassionate Caregiver of the Year (NCCY) Award® recipient.

IHI: Institute for Healthcare Improvement

Interview with Rana

What happens when health care providers fail one of their own?

REVIEW - Publisher's Weekly

Review of In Shock

Awdish’s debut memoir is a compassionate and critical look at medicine and illness from both a doctor’s and a patient’s perspective. 


Review of In Shock

A sobering, well-rendered reality check on the desperate need for advanced training on compassion-centric modes of patient care.

Health Leaders Media Interview

February 2, 2017

Dr. Awdish discusses the critical need for empathy with John Commins of Health Leaders Media.

The Doctor as Patient: "I Was Not Trying to Die"

January 19, 2017

Watch Dr. Awdish's interview where she details her experience as a patient and how it helped change her perspective, leading her to champion empathy in healthcare.

Dr. Rana Awdish nearly died in her own hospital. Here's how it changed Henry Ford Health System

January 12, 2017

In this article from the Advisory Board, Dr. Awdish shares her experience as a critically ill patient and how it altered her views on provider empathy. She also outlines the training she has helped implement at her health system.

A View from the Edge — Creating a Culture of Caring

January 5, 2017

The New England Journal of Medicine is the most widely read, cited, and influential general medical periodical in the world. In this article, Dr. Awdish writes about her experience as a patient, the gaps in medicine her experience painfully revealed, and the changes she is helping to bring to her health system.

This physician almost died at her own hospital - what she learned from the experience

January 9, 2017

In Becker's Hospital Review, Dr. Awdish, shares how her own near-death experience inspired her — and the hospital — to provide better patient care in an article published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

She nearly died at her own hospital, and it taught her how to be a better doctor

January 5, 2017

Article published in Upworthy documenting Dr. Awdish's experience as a patient and the changes she is helping to bring to her health system.

After near-death experience, doctor calls for greater empathy with patients

January 5, 2017

Listen to Dr. Awdish's interview with CBC's As It Seems, later broadcast on NPR.

Listen here

On Sepsis and Empathy

September 2, 2014

Watch Dr. Awdish's powerful lecture where she first talks about her experience as a patient.

Interview with Rana


Watch Dr. Awdish's message that is played to all new Henry Ford Health System employees.