Today’s episode is all about women physicians in the foreign service and what a career taking care of diplomats looks like. Dr. Archana Shrestha interviews Dr. Ayan Ahmed Noor, who is currently working in Washington DC, and Dr. Dawn Osterholt, who joins in from The United Arab Emirates. These sister docs work as physicians for the U.S. Foreign Service and share their personal experiences of what it’s like to work for the Foreign Service and Department of State. 

Dr. Ayan H. Ahmed Noor joined the Department of State in 2010 as a Regional Medical Officer (RMO). She came to the Department with 15 years of clinical and public health experience. Prior to joining the State Department, Dr. Noor’s background included working in international disaster relief in post-conflict countries such as Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, and South Sudan. Dr. Noor is accompanied in Washington by her spouse, a Federal Civil Service employee with the Federal Aviation Administration, and their two boys.

Dr. Osterholt is a Regional Medical Officer for the U.S. Department of State. She is a Physician Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics. As a U.S. Foreign Service Diplomat, she is in her third tour and has spent the past 5 years providing high quality healthcare in a variety of locations across the globe to members of the U.S. Federal Government from U.S. Secretaries of State to entry-level officers and their family members. Prior to joining the State Department, she was the Medical Director of a Federally Qualified Health Center in rural Virginia. She is married with 2 children. Together they enjoy skiing, cooking, and bicycling.

Key Takeaways

[03:23] How Dr. Noor got started in the foreign service 

[06:07] The types of patients and illnesses encountered in this field 

[09:50] What Dr. Noor views as the hardest part of the job  

[14:03] How Dr. Osterholt is treated as a woman physician overseas 

[19:04] What it’s like for her children living abroad 

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