What a year it’s been! As we continue to move forward during this time, it is so encouraging to feel supported and know you are not alone. That is how I felt when I saw this photo posted by the Florida Medical Association (FMA) to celebrate women in medicine. Seeing myself among superb physician leaders reminds me that, as we each do our part with the gifts, expertise, and passions we have, we accomplish so much collectively! I’m grateful to the FMA for this kind blessing.
I am deeply grateful for all the mentors and role models I’ve had over the years who helped me become the woman I am today. My first and best role model was my awesome mother, Maribel. I wrote a tribute to her ten years ago that I love to re-read often to honor her once more. You may follow the link to read my tribute: Lessons I Learned Watching Mom.
An Exciting Opportunity!
I received another gift during Women’s History Month that also involves my colleagues. I was one of five family physicians chosen by the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) to join a scholars program for physician leaders. Ten national medical organizations each chose five women to participate in this 18-month leadership program addressing bias and gender disparities, wellness topics, and organizational strategies to support needed growth in medicine. I cannot wait to meet my colleagues and embark on this journey together!
Celebrating the Match … Plus Advocacy Needed!
This month, I also join in celebrating all the medical students who have made it this far on their journey to becoming physicians! I am so proud of ALL of you, whether you matched to the residency you wanted or not. Your dedication, discipline, and hard work are admirable, as is your commitment to excellence.
The lack of residency training spots to ‘match’ each medical student to a training program is an area of medicine where advocacy is still needed, and our medical organizations as well as our legislators must work together to ensure ALL qualified medical students are able to complete their training. Unfortunately, thousands of excellent students are unable to do so every year simply because there are not enough residency training spots in the nation to accommodate all of them. This is wrong and must be solved urgently by building on wise initiatives like the graduate medical education (GME) expansion Congress passed in December 2020 … after stalling on this issue for 25 years! There is reason to celebrate as we continue to advocate! Please support the Resident Physician Shortage Reduction Act of 2021 and spread the word!
P.S. Here’s another tribute to women in medicine in picture form, courtesy of @ebolivera #LatinasinMedicine. Let us celebrate as we continue to improve our profession for the next generations!
And below is my tribute to individual women in medicine who have touched my life. Thank you for enriching my life!