#Iamaphysician: Celebrating diverse physician narratives

By: Roxana Daneshjou MD/Ph.D. and Ami Kumordzie (MD/MBA candidate, Stanford University)

“Is anyone here a doctor?” many of us in medicine have imagined hearing these words and being called to action. However, if recent events are any indication, some of us may not have the opportunity to fulfill the responsibility for which we have trained. At 30,000 feet, when a medical emergency struck, an African American ObGyn physician, Dr. Tamika Cross, was denied the ability to give aid because of explicit and implicit bias — she did not fit the expected mold of a physician. She was asked several times to prove her credentials, and her responses were readily dismissed.

What are society’s expectations for “who” becomes a physician? Whatever explicit or implicit biases exist — we aim to shatter them with the images and the stories of those on the ground — current physicians and physician trainees. These stories show who we actually are. We are the children of physicians and the children of parents who never finished high school. We are first generation Americans and those whose ancestors who called America home long before the pilgrims. We are atheists, Christians, Muslims, Jews, Baha’is, and Buddhists. We are members of the LGBTQ community. We are black, white and every shade in between. We represent the entire spectrum of the human rainbow.

We started #IAmAPhysician to accomplish two goals:

1) To celebrate our diverse backgrounds and paths to medicine, our proof to society that no single narrative defines us.

2) To inspire the next generation of aspiring physicians by showing that anyone with the desire to serve can be a physician.

The stories we have collected through this campaign are a reminder that many paths lead to medicine. We hope you will join us.

JOIN THE #IAMAPHYSICIAN MOVEMENT:

All the stories we are sent will be shared on social media. You can help us by tweeting using #Iamaphysician, following @diversedocs on Twitter or following @diversedocs on instagram. Follow us on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/diversedocs/. If you would like your picture/story featured on our accounts, send your picture with a short blurb (<100 words) to diversephysicians@gmail.com.