Each month, the AAS Membership Committee presents the “Membership Spotlight” – an opportunity to introduce you to a member of your association.
Article by Joseph D. Phillips, MD
Dr. Rian M. Hasson is a Thoracic Surgeon and Assistant Professor of Surgery at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center and The Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. She was born and raised in Southern California and completed her undergraduate degree at The University of California, Berkeley. She completed medical school at the Keck School of Medicine at USC and moved to Boston, MA for her general surgery training at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. She completed her cardiothoracic residency at The Ohio State University and additional training in thoracic surgery at the Mayo Clinic. She joined the faculty at Dartmouth-Hitchcock in August of 2018.
During her training, she obtained a basic science clinical research fellowship funded through the Ruth L. Kirschstein Training Grant. She gained expertise in cancer cell biology under the guidance of Dr. Monica Bertagnolli at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute and developed a better understanding and appreciation for science, investigation and discovery. During her cardiothoracic surgery training, she continued her research pursuits, but transitioned from basic science to outcomes research. Realizing that while her clinical efforts provide day-to-day gratification, her research efforts can provide long-term fulfilment by facilitating changes in the way we practice medicine. Currently, she is an active health services researcher and is completing an MPH at the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice in June. Her current research projects focus on identifying and ameliorating disparities in lung cancer screening.
Her drive for health equity stems from the health disparities present in her own family as two of her grandparents died of smoking-related diseases. Early in her career their illnesses peaked her desire to study preventative mechanisms. Today, as a practicing thoracic surgeon, she is motivated to eliminate disparities in lung cancer screening and identify racial/ethnic disparities in Surgery to increase the inclusion of underrepresented groups. As such, she serves as a leading mentor for medical students interested in surgery at The Geisel School of Medicine. She explained to me that her hope going forward is that “medical students of color will face fewer challenges and have more representative role models so that they too can become successful medical professionals and increase the diversity of our workforce.”
To promote a healthy work-life balance, in her spare time she enjoys international clinical experiences, having served in Rwanda, Ecuador and Costa Rica, cooking and spending time with family and friends.
Dr. Hasson is a great academic surgeon, researcher and role-model. She epitomizes what it means to be a member of the AAS and I am proud to call her my partner and friend.