In 1994, Aldiana Soljic fled Bosnia as a refugee. Now, she is a world-class urologist, and in 2014 she became the first general urologist at Mass General.

In 1994, a young Aldiana Soljic fled her home country of Bosnia as a refugee.

Her new life in America was marked with tragedy when her father, who had recently joined his family in the U.S., experienced a fatal accident when he fell off a roof. Having only been in the country for about a year, the Soljic family barely spoke English. Standing beside her father’s hospital bed, not fully understanding what was going on, she began to experience firsthand the importance of creating a human connection with people in their most vulnerable moments.

I told myself, “I’m going to medical school and take care of people.”

At the time, she was studying genetics. But in the wake of her father’s death, Aldiana made the decision to change her path. She recalled, “I told myself, ‘I’m going to go to medical school and take care of people.’”

Placing Others First

Seeing how well some people at the hospital treated her dying father and her family throughout the heartbreaking experience, and the feeling of comfort she got from the medical practitioners and staff, Aldiana was more resolved than ever to make her dream of caring for others a reality.

After finishing college, she attended medical school at Temple University to pursue her new calling. And once she completed her residency in Miami, she found herself at Massachusetts General Hospital. Thinking back on what brought her to Mass General, she said, “Life takes you somehow, somewhere. It’s serendipity.”

That serendipity has indeed made a profound impact on the patients and the mission of Mass General. Now Dr. Soljic is a world-class urologist, and in 2014 was the first general urologist hired at Mass General.

“I chose urology because it fascinated me. It’s highly surgical, highly technological and it balances so many facets of medicine.”

What’s more, with fewer than 10% of all urologists worldwide being female, she’s pioneering a path for more women like her to enter into a field where women are under-represented. With current trends in urology, she sees that small figure increasing, to possibly 25% or higher, over the next six years.

Growing by the Day

The Mass General Department of Urology is currently undergoing an expansion, allowing for easier patient access to the department. There are currently 16 urology specialists, but now that the department is moving into a brand new, state-of-the-art facility on the Mass General  campus, more clinic space means more expert urologists like Dr. Soljic and a higher quality of patient care, helping to pave the way for the future of urology — and what she calls “comradery-driven care” — at Mass General.

“I chose urology because it fascinated me. It’s highly surgical, highly technological and it balances so many facets of medicine. It affects young and old, male and female. And most of all, it requires a very personal patient relationship.”

Thanks to support of the MGH Fund, which helps Mass General recruit talented faculty and staff, even more passionate professionals like Dr. Soljic are joining the ranks here at Mass General.

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The MGH Fund is an important source of funding that allows Mass General to recruit talented faculty and staff, like Dr. Soljic, so that we can stay on the forefront of innovation.