Internal Medicine - Pediatrics
Broward Health Community Health Services - Annie L. Weaver Health Center
What figure in Black History would you most like to meet and why?
Harriet Tubman. She escaped from slavery at the age of 27 and went back 13 times to rescue over 70 others. Harriet Tubman was the first woman to lead an armed exposition in the Civil War that freed over 700 slaves. She went on to live to be 91 years of age. I admire Harriet Tubman for her fearlessness, perseverance and faith.
What do you think about when you think of Black History Month?
People of African descent have contributed a great deal to the growth and development of America. Black History Month is a time to reflect on the suffering as well as the accomplishments African Americans have achieved during our 400 years in America.
Why is it important to seek out and value diverse perspectives in general and in healthcare?
Studies have shown that patients have higher rates of adherence when cared for by providers who they can relate to culturally. Given the ever-growing diversity in south Florida and the US, it is pertinent that our medical workforce parallels these changes. Diversity of perspectives, particularly in health care, helps to ensure that people of all backgrounds are represented and understood.
What are you most proud of, professionally or personally?
Becoming the first female physician in my family.
Who or what inspires you, professionally or personally?
I am inspired by the resilience of my patients, many of whom are economically disenfranchised or have immigrated to the US, leaving family and loved ones behind. Much like the African American story, they continue to thrive in the face of adversity.
How has Black History shaped your professional field?
Many African American physicians have been pioneers in the medical field, such as: Dr. Mae Jemison, the first black female astronaut; Dr. Ben Carson, who separated Siamese twins joined at the cranium in 1987; and Dr. Daniel Hale Williams, who performed the first successful open-heart surgery in 1893 and founded the first black-owned hospital in America in 1891.
What advice would you give someone starting their career in your field?
I would encourage them to find a mentor. A career in the medical field is a long road. One way to make your journey a little easier is to find others who are doing what you would like to do and use those relationships to support you and provide guidance along the way.
Any other thoughts you’d like to share about Black History Month?
Black history is a story of triumph over adversity. Taking time to learn about and celebrate Black history can serve as a source of inspiration to anyone, no matter their background.