Sunday, March 14, 2010

Reflections from a Woman in Medicine at Grady: What happens to a dream deferred?


Rebecca Lee Crumpler, first African-American woman to graduate a U.S. medical school


What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore--
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over--
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?
~ by Langston Hughes
  • In 1849, Elizabeth Blackwell became the first woman to graduate from a U.S. medical school in N.Y.
  • In 1864, Rebecca Lee Crumpler became the first black woman to graduate from a U.S. medical school in New England.
  • In 1915, women represented approximately 5% of the physician workforce in the U.S.
  • In 1983, women represented approximately 1/3 of U.S. medical school matriculants.
  • In 1976, Grady doctor and cardiologist Nanette K. Wenger is recognized as one of Time Magazine's Women of the year, and in 1998 she is named Chief of Cardiology.
  • In 2006, women represented nearly one half of all U.S. medical school matriculants and graduates.
  • In 2008, my medical school classmate Yolanda Wimberly wins the prestigious AAMC Humanism in Medicine Award
  • In 2009, my colleague Lisa Bernstein becomes the youngest and one of few female recipients of the Papageorge Teaching Award, one of the highest teaching awards attainable at Emory University School of Medicine.
  • In 2009, my colleague Stacy Higgins wins the Outstanding Clinician-Generalist Award, the highest honor given to a general internist at Emory.
  • In 2009 and 2010, I celebrated the completion of residency training with fifteen women I supervise in clinic each week--only a small representation of the strong presence of women in residency training at our program, and women in the physician workforce.
  • In 2008, I asked my preschool aged son, Isaiah, if he wanted to be a doctor when he grew up. His answer? "No way! I'm a boy! Doctors are girls!"
  • You've come a long way, babygirl!
Grady doctor and Cardiology icon: Dr. Nanette K. Wenger, Professor of Medicine
still goin' strong. . .56 years after graduating from med school

Grady doctor Dr. Yolanda H. Wimberly, Meharry Class of '96
Doin' her thang at the Morehouse School of Medicine
Past and present women Grady doctors: Stacy H., Jada B-J, Ingenia G., Lisa B., and me
SGIM National Meeting 2009

Dr. Stacy Higgins wins Outstanding Clinician Award, 2009

Women as leaders: Grady Chief Residents 2008-2009, Dr. Paulina R. and Dr. Karen L.
(pictured here with Dr. Stacy H. and me)

Following Rebecca Lee's footsteps: 2009 Emory Internal Medicine Graduates
Aliya H., Angie R., and Tenecia D.
The Original Grady's Angels: Doctors, Mommies, and Friends
Me and Drs. Natalie Levy, and Lesley Miller
Brains and beauty: my seven senior residents from clinic,
Emory Department of Medicine Class of 2010
Christina P., Eva R., Rathi P., (me), Ayushi A., Sameera A., Julie E., Darina S.
More of Rebecca Lee's descendants
What happens to a drea
m deferred? It explodes!Meharry Girls, School of Medicine Class of '96
Dr. Tracey Lemon-Sams, Meharry Class of '96
Awesome OB/Gyn, Awesome-er friend
Esteemed catcher of both Manning babies (pictured with baby Zachary)

Dr. Erica B. and me, 2008 Emory University SOM
Deans Teaching Award Recipients
Dr. Lisa B. Bernstein, recipient of the 2009 Papageorge Distinguished Teaching Award
(a really, really big deal--case in point: last female to receive it? Uh, see Nanette Wenger, above. Hello?!)

Meharry Alumni, Tuskegee Alumni, and College sorority sisters
with Dr. Falona G.
Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Chapter Anniversary Celebration, Tuskegee 2008
The future is bright: Emory medical students, Hreem D., Antoinette N. and Carrie N.


"Cause they see a woman standing up on her own two

Sloppy slouching is something I won't do

Some think that we can't flow (can't flow)

Stereotypes, they got to go (got to go)

I'm a mess around and flip the scene into reverse

(With what?) With a little touch of 'Ladies First'. . . ."

~ Queen Latifah, "Ladies First" circa 1989

Kickin' it Old School with a little "Ladies First" by Queen Latifah (before the acting career and Covergirl campaign)
original sistagirl's anthem!~

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