Living My Dream
I can recall the first time that I verbalized my desire to become a doctor. I was only eight years old. I had a very innocent view of what it meant to be a doctor. I just knew that I wanted to help others.
I was a quiet child, but I was very observant. I have learned many lessons from observing. One of the best examples of this is when I would learn from my brothers those behaviors that often resulted in a spanking. Additionally, I observed my parents. My dad was a minister and teacher. My mother was initially a stay-at-home mom and preacher’s wife, but she too became a teacher. They both had a servant spirit. They were community pillars. I also had a great respect for my pediatrician. I enjoyed my doctor’s visits. I was mesmerized by his white coat. I loved how he talked with me. He seemed to really care about making me feel better.
Today, I still desire to help others. I hope to become a leader in women’s health. All women, regardless of their background, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, are special patients who require special doctors.
My journey to becoming a doctor was not an easy one. I grew up in a small, rural community called Chickasha, Oklahoma. It was my dream to play in the school band and become a Chickasha Fightin’ Chick at Chickasha High School. Chickasha was predominantly a Caucasian community. When my parents became teachers, we became the first African-American family to move into the upscale neighborhood. My world changed. My brothers and I had to ride Bus #16 to school. I can recall hearing students sing songs that were racial and used the “N” word. I also recall being called the “N” word at school, hoping that my teacher would give the student a punishment that equaled the pain that I felt from being called that name. However, his punishment was to stay in from recess. I remember thinking “is that it?!” I found comfort in my home and in my church. I had to press on. I had no choice. In my parents’ home, getting my education was not an option. It was expected.
I have learned many valuable lessons from my Mother. She had registered me for gymnastics and baton twirling class. In gymnastics class, we were given the assignment of picking a team and developing a routine for the upcoming recital. Okay, I admit. I was not very good at gymnastics. I could do a great forward roll and cart wheel. I loved the balance beam. No one picked me. I was devastated. I went home and cried. I felt alone. My mother consoled me. The next day she bought me a gift. It was a necklace with a lion pendant. She told me that she wanted me to have courage. I felt so proud to wear that necklace. She also told me that I was going to perform by myself. We worked on a routine. It was great! It was probably one of the most valuable lessons that I have ever learned.
During my path to becoming a doctor, I have met have many supportive individuals but I have met an equal amount of individuals who were only interested in my failure. I had to dig deep in my soul and hold on to that “can do”, “in spite of”, resilient, courageous attitude. Regardless of my circumstance, I always had to keep on keeping on because I knew that I had a greater purpose.
I now know that the adversity that I encountered during my path was necessary. Every experience I have ever had has molded me into the doctor that I am today. I hope to use my blog as a conversation with those who choose to read. I want to not only fulfill my passion to educate the community about health concerns that impact our lives but also I hope to make the subject matter understandable, lacking intimidation.
My success is not only the result of God in my life, but also my family. I have a wonderful, supportive husband of 14 years. I have a 2-year-old daughter and a 21-year-old stepdaughter.
I received my undergraduate education at the University of California, San Diego. I went on to pursue a Master of Health Care Administration and Doctor of Medicine at The Ohio State University. I had the privilege of pursuing an OB/GYN residency at Methodist Dallas Medical Center. I am now a board certified OB/GYN practicing in Goshen, Indiana at Fairhaven OB/GYN.
OB/GYN is a demanding specialty. It is demanding of my time. It can be emotionally draining. It requires a great sacrifice. I often go to bed thinking of my patients at night. Even when I have had my toughest day in the office or on-call at the hospital, I can truly say that I am living my dream!