Washington, D.C. — Iffath Abbasi Hoskins, MD, FACOG, of New York City today became the 73rd president of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), based in Washington, D.C. Dr. Hoskins is clinical professor and director of patient safety in the department of obstetrics and gynecology at the New York University Grossman School of Medicine and specializes in maternal–fetal medicine. She was sworn in as president during ACOG’s 2022 Annual Clinical & Scientific Meeting in San Diego.
In a speech to the College, Dr. Hoskins acknowledged the immense professional and personal demands that obstetrician–gynecologists have faced on the front lines of COVID-19 medical practice and research. The challenge now, she said, is to “bring renewed urgency and creativity to the issues that must be addressed while also consolidating and building on the gains. And we face these tasks while still exhausted and depleted.”
The most compelling issues include expanding mental health care, the focus of Dr. Hoskins’ planned presidential initiative: Minding Mental Health. The pandemic spotlighted the severity of the mental health crisis among physicians. “Our own self-care is no longer optional. It is now a necessity,” Dr. Hoskins said. “Many of us are acutely aware of the stresses of our work, the shortage of programs supporting physicians’ wellness and behavioral health, and aspects of medical culture that limit our own access to support. There is an urgent need to normalize and destigmatize mental health care for our profession.” She pledged that ACOG will work to make mental health care more accessible to physicians and to nourish their wellness at all levels—individual, organizational, and systemic.
Minding Mental Health includes investing in resources for obstetrician–gynecologists to identify and support patients’ mental health care needs during the perinatal period and throughout their lives, she said: “No physician needs to be reminded that the pandemic has also spotlighted and amplified unaddressed mental health needs in the people we care for. Our country is seeing staggeringly high rates of depression and anxiety, substance use, and deaths of despair due to overdose and suicide.”
Before taking up her current position at NYU, Dr. Hoskins served 29 years with the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps, achieving the rank of captain and receiving several awards for military leadership. She has been chair and residency program director in two New York City obstetrics and gynecology departments and held leadership positions at NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue, one of the oldest public hospitals in the United States. She was previously executive director of women’s health services at Memorial Health University Medical Center in Savannah, Georgia, and served on the board of Georgia’s Department of Human Services. She has practiced at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland, where she completed her maternal–fetal medicine fellowship, and was co-director of the medical genetics fellowship at the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Hoskins graduated from Dow Medical College in Karachi, Pakistan.
As an ACOG Fellow, Dr. Hoskins has held several national leadership positions, including a seat on the board of directors and in committees and task forces. She has represented ACOG in the American Medical Association, American College of Surgeons, and American Academy of Pediatrics. She describes herself as the product of three ACOG Districts, each of which has shaped her immeasurably: the Armed Forces District, District II, and District IV.
Dr. Hoskins has received the ACOG Outstanding District Service Award from District II, multiple awards for medical teaching, and New York City Public Advocate’s Community Service Award for mentoring high school students—one element of her extensive community service. A biomedical research facility, the William and Iffath Hoskins Center for Biomedical Research, at Mercer University in Georgia, was endowed by Curtis and Elizabeth Anderson to honor Dr. Hoskins’s contributions to women’s health care.