Friday, May 29, 2015


Watching Zack play flag football. #thedayhesaidilookedlikeacoolmom

I like hanging out with myself. Seriously. I do. I amuse myself. I think of certain things and laugh out loud all by myself. Other times I move myself to tears. 


I guess thats all a part of being friends with yourself, you know? Yeah, man. I think this is why I love a good selfie. Because for me, it's not so much about me thinking I look ultra cute or anything. I'm usually just spending time with me during a piece of my day. And whatever I'm feeling in the moment or thinking about prompts me to take my own picture. I know. Crazy right?

Well. I actually have quite the collection now. And for me, they remind me of little slices of my life. The extraordinary ordinary--which is pretty much how I describe it.  In fact, I told my friend the other day, "I call them 'life-ies" because they have a way of chronicling my life for me.

Today I looked at my collection and it made me feel happy. Here's a few slices that you've probably seen before, but oh well. Here they are again. 

With hashtags.

Why, you ask? Why not?

#redcupseason #peppermintsoylatteextrahot #cutemanicure

#youonlysmoketwocigsperweekhuh #umyeahokay

#girlyoulooktired #somebodyhadjustsaidthattome #butreallyiwasjustmissingmysister

#atlantaskyline #youcanfindmeintheA #pitstopduringgeorgiahalfmarathon

#magentareaders #whatsnottolike

#wasrememberingmysissy #andlaughcryingatthesametime

#whenapatientkeepsontalking #butyouhavetogo #butyoudontbecuasethatsrude


#averycoolday #thedayididmyJAMAreading #iwashappy

#boldlipday #fornoreason

#hadjustinterviewed3blackstudents #wasfeelinglikeimwhereimsupposedtobe

#ladyvomickingontheplane #rightnexttome #thewholetime #eeweeweeeew

#oneofmyfaves #ihadjustlostapatient #butitwasadeathwithdignity


#hotasfishgrease #decidedthatdaytoneverdoasummerhalfmarathonagain

#footballmama #mighkickyoazz #donttryme

#inthezone #learnerbreakthrough #feelingawesome

#walkingintoanewday #feelinggrateful

#hangingwithmyfirstborn #alwaysagoodtime

#thatmomentwhenyoufinishyourlongrun #theoneyoudidntwanttodo

#VIPattheoutkastconcert #oneenchantedevening

#HBCUhomecomingweekend #perfecthomecomingweather #proudtuskegeegirl

#afterroundsonasunday #realizingthatgradyischurch

That's all I've got for now. Night night.

Happy Friday.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Mad love.

"I'm just saying, you can do better."

~ Drake

I heard him when he said that to you. Looked you straight into your face and called you a "stupid ass bitch." You crinkled your lips and acted like you didn't care. But I knew that you did.

The story? I didn't know it and still don't. But what I did know was that this wasn't his first time calling you that or your first time hearing it. And I wondered what the circumstances were that had led to such venom and, better yet, what upbringing had left you okay with this sort of treatment?

I tried to scowl at him from where I was walking but I knew it was weak. Like I was trapped in this internal struggle--do I speak up and come to your rescue or do I just stand still in that moment and pray for you and your world with all of my might? It felt too big for either so, mostly, I just hitched my breath and continued to be a voyeur.


He made reference to your "dumb ass" doing this and your "simple ass needing to know when to just shut the fuck up." I overheard it all while you walked down that street and I walked out of the hospital in just those moments. In response, you said, "Whatever." But it had no muscle behind it at all.

At all.

He stopped when you said that and just swung his head at you. Like the stare a stern parent gives to her child on the pew in church when he's playing instead of listening. But the anger, the meanness in it was nothing like that. And it chilled my blood to the bone.


He didn't say anything at that point. That look was enough. Your eyes fell away from his and landed somewhere far away. And then you both started walking again.

You were both young. Very young. I'm talking young enough to be my children had I gotten started sooner, but still, perhaps, old enough to have children of your own. That is, if you had gotten started sooner, too. And some piece of me hoped-hoped-hoped that there wasn't a child around any of that. Yeah. Some part of me did.

We were outside. Traveling down the sidewalk between Grady and the Health Department. And since you were coming from the Health Department and not Grady, I made up all sorts of explanations why or what your story could be. I wondered what had just happened and what could possibly warrant anyone speaking to you this way. Were you there for a birth certificate? Had you just discovered you had some kind of sexually transmitted infection? Or was it something altogether different?


But that's when I realized that there wasn't any sort of excuse for anyone speaking to you that way. So it didn't matter what had just happened. And so. You both kept walking and so did I, our routes perpendicular. As our paths nearly intersected the vitriol amplified. Him still those three steps ahead of you and you slightly shuffling behind with that saucy pout of your lips. Trying your best to feign some pseudo-spunk which no one was buying.

"I don't know why you making such a big deal," I heard you say as we drew closer.

"That's 'cause you a fucking dumb ass, that's why."

And when he said that, he was so close to me that those words smacked me in the side of the face and grabbed me by my throat, too. And because he was walking east-west and I was walking north-south, this was the part that I heard in Dolby stereo. I hated it.

And so. Against my better judgment, I spoke.

"Come on, dude. I need you to stop talking to my little sister that way. That's like somebody talking to me or your mama that way."

You both paused for a moment. I could feel my pulse quickening; I had no idea what might happen next. What was I thinking?  Fear started welling up in me in those first few milliseconds. Whatever kind of person he was to you, so disrespectful of you that he'd speak to you this way out on the street would surely make him a potential loose cannon towards me as well. What the hell was I thinking?

But then I noticed something. The way he was looking at me wasn't mighty or angry or even confrontational. It was boyish and juvenile. And even slightly embarrassed.      

"Yes, ma'am," he muttered falling into what was obviously some kind of habit.

I shook my head hard and sighed. "I've been listening to you. And you're hurting my heart so badly." I patted my hand on my chest. "So can you please just . . .yeah. . .just stop it." He nodded and slowly began to shrink.

And then I looked at you and wanted to say something more but couldn't. The words crashed together and fractured in pieces on the asphalt at my feet. Again, it all felt too big.


So after that you walked on. Him still ahead and you following. And no, I couldn't hear anything else after that but in my head I can still hear it all.

And that was that.

I wish I had the answers or some shiny pretty bow to affix to this story. I don't.

Today, I'm just thinking of you. I'm thinking of you both and feeling angry at this world you're in, whomever let you both down by robbing you of your innocence, and at myself for not being able to find any hope in any of it.

But here's what I wish I'd said: "You can do better, okay? You can."    


Wednesday, May 13, 2015


"It's like you're my mirror--my mirror staring back at me."

~ Justin Timberlake

Students who have real, true support win. This is critical for all students--but is especially necessary for underrepresented minorities and women. My fellow Grady doctor Stacy H. and I celebrated that today with three of our recent Emory medical school graduates.

And you know what?

It was magical.

Man. These are the moments that give us wings. Because supporting you supports me.

Damn. I'm just glad to be here.


Happy Hump Day.

Now playing on my mental iPod. . . .

Life in Pictures and Hashtags: Commencement '15

"Work is love made visible."

~ Kahlil Gibran


This year I came armed with Raybans.

#brightfuturescallforshades #sodotears #ialwayscryeveryyear

My sole survivor from SG Beta. Love her with my entire heart. I just get her.


The one who makes me weepiest.


They sit us side by side every year. Bad idea.

#shenaniganseverysingleyear #rolemodelstho #laughterisgoodmedicine #smizing #wefierce

I'm usually still just happy on this part. The water works come later.

#cantyoufeelthejoy #proudmoment #mybabies

It's surreal to know your students since the first day of medical school and then watch them march in to be hooded as bona fide physicians. And by surreal I mean awesome.

#smallgroupgamma #feelsliketheyjustgothere

One of the best people I know.

#goodtothecore #ifigetsickcalldrgeigerstat

This is what strength looks like. 

#youseetheglory #iknowthestory #mdphD #prouddaughter

You know how you wish for your babies to grow up and fall in love with someone wonderful? It's even better when you, too, love the wonderful person your baby falls in love with.

#ultimatepowercouple #allyoucouldwant #laurenrules

Ever meet someone with such excellent manners that you think they're pulling your leg? But then find out that they just happen to actually be a kind soul and nothing gives? Oh, you haven't? You need to meet Dr. Lockwood. For reals.

#professionalismpersonified #heartofplatinum

Nettie told Miss Celie, "Nothing but death could keep me from it." She was speaking of her love for her sister. That also goes for my colleague Cliff and his small group advisees. 

#resilience #dedication #ultimaterolemodel

I love seeing my friends all dressed up in regalia. I am particularly fond of Wendy's Harvard crimson. 

#swanky #theyknewtogivethattosomeonelikewendy #youcouldnttellmenothingifihadthatregalia #wouldgetamatchingboldlipandWERKit

Love this one.

#expectgreatthings #callherifdrgeigerisnotthere

And so it begins.


Wait for it. . . .


I've known them since the first day of orientation, remember?



Yeah. By this point it was a wrap. Bless my heart.

#thedeansareusedtoitnow #lookatdeanlarsen #healmostsmackedme 



THESE two proud parents (Dr. and Dr. Umpierrez) hooded their older daughter last year and (my advisee) their youngest daughter Erica, this year. Both honor society inductees and student leaders. Pretty much a big deal family. Ummm. . yeah. Pretty much.

#youcouldnttellmenothinifiwasthem #howbossisthat #BOOM #thatsthemicdropping

See? If Wendy had known she was going to win the highest teaching award at Emory--The Evangeline Papageorge Distinguished Teaching Award--she might have gone for that matching bold lip I was talking about. Ha. Her parents (from Michigan), her best friend (from Pittsburgh), and her children (uh, they live with her) surprised her. It was so awesome.

An added cool thing? Shanta sent her parents the link to a blog post I wrote about the meaning of that award. None of it was lost on any of them which, I think, made it even more pivotal for them. Her dad said, "I'm indescribably proud." I can't think of a cooler thing to hear a parent say.

#welldeserved #aboss #smartestpersoniknow #wewereproudtoo

Women need women friends. Shanta (the Profesora in Pittsburgh) is a die hard true friend whose loyalty defies description. She rules.

#hugsthatspeakvolumes #shecamefrompittsburgh #andgotherparentstherefrommichigan

A proud advisor selfie. For no reason. I'm certain someone was going to smack me here.

#becauseImhappy #donthate #imabloggerremember

This. This is why I always take photos.

#yougoglenncoco #feelinggroovy

And this. Hands down my favorite image of the entire day. If it doesn't make you happy, something is seriously wrong with you. Trust me, I'm a doctor.


More of my favorite super girl.


This woman, Dr. Cathy M. makes me think of this awesome quote from the student commencement speaker, whose powerful speech brought us all to tears:

"We now know that mentorship is just a fancy name for friendship with adults."

~ Shreya Rao, MD, EUSOM '15

Becoming one of her mentors felt divine. 

#yesthis #bestquoteever #outofsightneveroutofmind

And it's never official until we get that last "mean mug."

#asmallgrouptradition #SGgamma

Bonus images:

These two gifts given to me by my graduating small group advisees in 2013 and 2015 exemplify why we all go so hard. This is what happens when we leave it all on the field. Thank you Dan. . .and thank you Anand for remembering Dan's story. . .  and then for destroying my mascara with this kind, kind gesture.

#alwaysastorybehindtheglory #firstchoicePenn

#bestmomentever #dejavu #firstchoiceUW #gohardorgohome


Happy Commencement. Coming in July: Small Group Epsilon. Wow.

And as is tradition for every one of my graduating small groups, here is a 2 and a half minute journey through the last four years with them--courtesy of the Beatles (duh.) Once again, it's been a dream.