I chose medicine as the best, most tangible way for me to give back to others. I was lucky enough to be accepted into medical school at a time when women in medicine were considered, at best, a novelty, and at worst, a mistake in the profession.
I chose medicine as the best, most tangible way for me to give back to others. I was lucky enough to be accepted into medical school at a time when women in medicine were considered, at best, a novelty, and at worst, a mistake in the profession. But medicine bridged all of my passions for science, art, and most of all, humanity. There was never a question that Family Medicine was the perfect specialty for me—the intrigue of diagnosing undifferentiated patients of all ages, the fascination of individual patients and their life stories, and the privilege to know and care for multiple generations of the same family still excite me after thirty-plus years of practice and teaching.
The most unforgettable truth that I learned from the Kellogg Fellowship is that racism is the central malignancy that is destroying our world. I heard this phrase at our first Group XI Seminar in Lake Bluff and it rang so true for my life that I have never forgotten it. Growing up in the South during the Civil Rights Movement left indelible first hand experiences and memories of man’s inhumanity to man seared in my mind. Hatred and persecution of people because of their skin color was unfathomable to me, but I grew up seeing the worst things that people can do to each other institutionalized in American culture. I have committed my life to ending intolerance and racism in every way possible. I have committed my life to healing both racially and medically, nationally and internationally. My newest passion is improving public health and fighting for universal healthcare legislation that will protect society’s most vulnerable people—women, children, and the poor around the world.
I do what I do because everyone in this world has a God-given right to good health, good opportunities, and goodwill towards each other. And I can’t not do whatever I can do to make these a right for all.
Written in 2009