THRIVE is an AIWA-SF April project dedicated to highlighting Armenians who are doing amazing things in their personal and professional lives to better themselves and those around them. These individuals are inspiring, dynamic, innovative and interesting. Today, we feature Dr. Hasmik Arzumanyan, MD, Endocrinology.
Born and raised in Armenia, Dr Hasmik Arzumanyan, MD studied medicine at Yerevan State Medical University and graduated Summa Cum Laude. After practicing medicine for several years in Armenia, she made the very difficult decision, leaving her family, friends and life behind in Armenia and moved to the United States to fulfill her educational aspirations.
She completed her Internal Medicine residency at Johns Hopkins University/Sinai Hospital, and fellowship training in Endocrinology at Stanford University Hospital. Prior to joining Kaiser Permanente, she worked as an Assistant Clinical Professor in Endocrinology at the University of California Davis Heath System.
She is currently the Chief of the Department of Endocrinology at Kaiser Permanente Oakland Medical Center.
Question: What is your life philosophy?
I have to quote Victor Frankle because this resonates with my life philosophy: “Don’t aim at success. The more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side effect of one’s personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as by-product of one’s surrender to a person other than oneself”.
What is your hope for the future?
In general, I hope that kindness rules the world. I hope that one day I am able to establish a clinic to care for patients with endocrine problems free of charge.
What is your favorite thing about being Armenian?
Being able to preserve my cultural heritage while living outside of my homeland. It gives me strength, it makes me happy and proud.
How has being a medical professional impacted you?
I love my profession, and I have come to appreciate it even more in the face of this pandemic. I am not an Infectious Disease specialist, but even with my general medical knowledge I am able to contribute in the areas where ID expertise is not necessarily required. By doing so I am able to support my colleagues anyway I can as we collectively fight this pandemic.
Medical profession is a lifelong learning, and not only medical learning but learning from my patients. During my professional career I have had the opportunity to interact with wide range of individuals with different cultures, values, beliefs, and perspectives. My patients have taught me to be a better medical professional and a better human being.
What have you learned about yourself?
I have learned that I am passionate about what I do for living, practicing medicine. Being a doctor is not an easy task, but no matter how overwhelming and challenging my day can be, I am very grateful to be able to impact lives. It validates all the hard work and determination I put in to become who I am today.
How has Armenian culture shaped/influenced you?
Armenian culture has shaped everything I do, including the way I communicate with my patients to the way I lead my department.
Hasmik- I have a always admired you and your incredible dedication and compassion. Your story is incredible and I am grateful that you are sharing it to inspire and teach others. I miss working with you at Stanford and wanted you to know how much you inspire me.