The world of medicine looks significantly different under a microscope. That’s the resolve of Tasnuva Rashid, MD, PhD, MPH, a PGY-2 resident at the University of Florida Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine – Jacksonville.
"As pathologists, we play a vital role in individualized medicine,” Rashid said. “We are the bridge between the world we can see with the naked eye and the world that is under the lens of a microscope.”
Originally from the country of Bangladesh, Rashid’s family has a history in health care. Her father is a practicing cardiologist and her mother is a gynecologist. As a child, she would travel with her parents as they practiced medicine in countries like Dubai, Europe and Iran.
Finding purpose in pathology
Rashid always knew she wanted to be a physician but wasn’t sure whether she would enter clinical medicine or pathology.
After finishing medical school at Ibrahim Medical College, Rashid earned an MPH in epidemiology from Texas A&M School of Rural Public Health and completed her PhD in infectious diseases and human genetics from the University of Texas Health Science Center. Rashid also has a data analysis background from the University of Porto.
In the fourth year of medical school, Rashid experienced a greater level of exposure to pathology and became quite passionate about it.
“I was exposed to lots of lab work, microscopies and slides. It gave me a higher appreciation for the necessary work of pathologists,” Rashid said. “Pathology is the very core of medicine. In most cases, we are able to give a diagnosis to guide the management or treatment plan of the patient. This is why pathology is one of the fast-paced fields of medicine that is constantly transforming and expanding.”
Excelling in residency
Rashid entered the pathology residency program during the COVID-19 pandemic. She joined the UF family following her husband, Irtiza Hasan, MD, an assistant professor in the division of nephrology.
Since then, she has done outstanding work as a resident and is currently chief resident-elect for the department of pathology for the upcoming academic year.
Just two years into her residency, Rashid has won $5,000 worth of grant funding from the Association of Pathology Chair’s Society of ’67 Pathology Trainee Project Grant.
“Achieving this was quite exciting for me and I am appreciative to my program director, Dr. Anwar Siddiqi and other attendings for their support,” Rashid said.
Her award-winning project, “Telepathology Feasibility and Validity Study,” will evaluate the efficacy and applicability of a portable, remotely operable compact device for evaluating frozen section slides in real time. In phase two of the project, image-guided biopsy smears and core imprints will also be evaluated for adequacy. If proven efficient, use of this device can make a significant improvement in the field of telepathology by increasing outreach and decreasing health care costs.
“This award appropriately reflects Dr. Rashid’s effort and dedication to her training and research,” said Anwer Siddiqi, an associate professor in the department of pathology and laboratory medicine and program director for pathology residency program. “On behalf of the department of pathology, we wish Dr. Rashid all the success in future.”
Leadership on campus
Rashid is committed to being involved on the Jacksonville campus serving as co-chair on the UF College of Medicine – Jacksonville’s Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access Resident and Fellow committee, and as a resident delegate for the College of American Pathologists. She is also an education committee member of the Digital Pathology Association and represents the University of Florida College of Medicine – Jacksonville at the Florida Society of Pathology.
“I love being involved in extracurricular activities and networking with my colleagues in various capacities. I believe it makes for a well-rounded medical professional,” Rashid said.
What lies ahead
Professionally, Rashid hopes to move on to a fellowship program once she completes her residency training. She plans to focus on molecular pathology, translational medicine, and bioinformatics.
As a pathologist, she aspires to advance medicine through research.
“I want to be a leader in the field of pathology and be involved in various collaborative research projects. I definitely plan to stay in academic medicine,” Rashid said.
Her advice to someone on the same career path is simple —practice your passion.
“If anyone wants to come into the field of medicine or specifically pathology, you need to be passionate about it,” Rashid said. People enter the field of medicine for many reasons but whatever the reason be, your passion and excitement to make a change should motivate you to get out of bed every day.”
Outside of life as a resident, Rashid loves to read books, listen to music, spend time with her family and travel.
Anwer M. Siddiqi, MBBS (MD), MMSc
Program Director, Pathology Residency; Clerkship Director