January 2022 Society Spotlight
Meet Rashmi Halker Singh MD, FAHS, FAAN
My name is Rashmi Halker Singh MD, FAHS, FAAN, and the American Headache Society has been an important part of my career since my headache medicine fellowship. I am a neurologist and headache medicine specialist at Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Arizona, which is also where I completed both my neurology residency and headache medicine fellowship under the mentorship of Dr. David Dodick. Here in Arizona, I hold a few different leadership roles, including Associate Professor of Neurology and Director of the Headache Medicine Fellowship Program, and through these opportunities, I have the privilege of contributing to the important culture of medical education at Mayo Clinic. I am also very fortunate to work with an outstanding team of colleagues at our Arizona Mayo Clinic campus, including Drs. Todd Schwedt, Amaal Starling, Juliana VanderPluym, Karissa Arca, and Laine Green.
AHS has been an integral part of my career, and the community has been my professional home since I have been a headache medicine fellow, as the society has helped me to foster many professional connections and personal friendships. During this pandemic, the importance of these relationships, both for ourselves and for our patients, has become more apparent than ever—particularly for providing this sense of friendship and community. I am thankful to AHS and remain committed to giving back.
My leadership roles within AHS started within the Special Interest Sections (SIS), as I had the privilege to serve as chair of the Women’s Health SIS. I am incredibly proud of the work done by this SIS, which has helped to meet the needs of female members in AHS. During my time as chair, Dr. Rebecca Wells, Dr. Rebecca Burch, and I created a Women’s Leadership Development Program and started the annual Women’s Reception Networking event at the Scottsdale meeting. Additionally, Dr. Matt Robbins, Dr. Jessica Ailani, and I established the annual Women’s Health Science Award, to highlight the work done to advance the science of headache medicine as they pertain to topics specific to women. So far, Drs. Gretchen Tietjen, Elizabeth Loder, and Jelena Pavlovic have all been award recipients.
To say that the COVID-19 pandemic has challenged the way we connect with each other and limited our opportunities for in-person engagement is obviously an understatement. Particularly in this difficult time, our AHS community has been a source of strength for me. I’m grateful to AHS for pivoting so well to recognize the importance of maintaining our programs for education, outreach, and, not to be underestimated, our connection to each other in the virtual environment. As I look back on the last couple of years, it’s easy to see the human connection coming through despite the hurdles—some of the highlights include the virtual talent show idea by Dr. Jessica Ailani at the 2021 annual meeting, and the “headache lounges” idea by Dr. Paul Matthew at the 2020 virtual Scottsdale Symposium.
I try to contribute to AHS by serving on the Electronic Media Committee, the Emerging Leaders Committee, NEXTGen Program, the Resident Education Program, and as co-chair of the REACH Program and Scottsdale Headache Symposium. I am also very involved with our Headache Journal as deputy editor and online & social media editor. Specifically, in my roles with the Headache Journal, I work closely with our Editor-in-Chief, Dr. Amy Gelfand, to promote the journal’s presence online. These activities include the journal’s new YouTube channel, which we hope will also bring a sense of connection with authors and researchers through personal interviews, and thereby add to our sense of community.
I wish you all a safe and healthy start to the New Year and hope to see many of you in Colorado in June.