September is Women in Medicine Month. We pleased to share the stories of some of our female physicians.
What made you want to go into medicine?
This is a difficult question for me to answer being as there was never a moment when I decided to be a doctor. Early in childhood, I often “played doctor.” This then grew into a dream, then a drive, then a reality. From middle school up, I would often answer that I would be a doctor. By high school, I listed in my yearbook the year I would finish medical school! College was a wonderful experience, but a stepping stone for medical school. I did not decide to go into medicine, GOD decided that this was the right path for me. I have been exceedingly blessed to fulfill my dream.
Were there any women in your life that you looked up to and helped shape who you are today?
The single most important woman of my life is my mother. She was a full-time working mom in Appalachia, where she upheld all her household duties and she maintained a full-time job while raising two children that were in every activity possible. She did it with humility and dignity. She taught me that the “sky is limit” and I could be and would be anything I dreamed to be. My sister is also 8 years older than me and she has been a huge role model. She is tough as nails and gentle as a flower at the same time, teaching me how to be fierce like a warrior but yet humble like Christ. I have had many other women role models in my life, many teachers from 1st grade through my current time. To name only a small few strong women who greatly impacted my life--Alice Sue DeHart, Connie Baker, Wilma Rose, Mary Lou Cartee, Dr. Susan Campbell, Dr. Barbara Rafaill and most recently Dr. Lynne Goebel and Dr. Shirley Neitch. These women are only a few of so many that shaped me, encouraged me, was tough on me, and held me when I fell.
What advice do you have for women just starting out?
For all the young women starting this journey, do not see yourself one ounce different that anyone else. You can and will do anything you set your mind! The largest challenge you will ever face will be balancing being a mother and being a physician, however, every step of the way you will become stronger and more loving. You will succeed and be an excellent mother and physician! In the words of my dad who taught me gender should never be a limitation, “No one said it would be easy, they just said it could be!”
Date Posted: Monday, September 28, 2020