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Aasma Shaukat

Occupation: Professor of Medicine at University of Minnesota

Country of Birth: Pakistan     Current: Minneapolis, MN

“I didn’t know the word grit when I first started but now I completely understand what it means… It’s perseverance in the face of failure or rejection and when one door closes, you have to keep knowing until more doors open.”

Born and raised in Pakistan, Aasma spent her childhood surrounded by lots of love and warmth from a large and loving family. Her grandfather told stories of his work as a physician, which inspired her to choose a path of medicinal work. She attended a top medical school in Pakistan where she reveled in her study opportunities, and as she approached the end of her studies, she started reflecting on what opportunities might be ahead of her. Though she expressed interest in pursuing postgraduate work, she felt the opportunities in Pakistan might not compare to the opportunities she might find elsewhere. This prompted her to begin researching options in the United States because of the vast opportunities that she could find here. 

Coming to the United States in her twenties presented an exciting new chapter in her life. Her first home in the US was in Baltimore as she completed work at Johns Hopkins studying public health. She then pursued the study of internal medicine in New York and of gastroenterology in Atlanta. Eventually she found her way to the University of Minnesota and her current role as researcher and professor. She enjoys her work now because it combines three professional interests: working in a clinic, researching, and educating. 

She finds passion and excitement behind each of these roles and is thankful for the opportunity to live the life she leads now. Though Aasma never intended to stay in the US after completing her postgraduate studies, she loves the life she and her family have built in Minnesota. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her husband and three children, cooking new dishes, and exploring Minnesotan sports.