For a short while, I put on these old scrubs to play doctor with my kids… After all, today is National Women Physician’s Day. It marks the 200th birthday of Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell, the 1st woman who earned a medical degree in 1849.
According to the National Women’s History Museum, “Blackwell was inspired to pursue medicine by a dying friend who said her ordeal would have been better had she had a female physician…Rejected everywhere she applied, she was ultimately admitted to Geneva College in rural New York, however, her acceptance letter was intended as a practical joke.”
Dr. Blackwell paved the way for many brilliant women to defy stereotypes, overcome discrimination, and persevere against the odds in rigorous, male-dominated careers.
During college, I knew I wanted to become a doctor when my dad was diagnosed with end-stage cancer and suffered countless complications. Though he had many great doctors and nurses, I’ll never forget how he was treated by certain providers because of his accent. He died the year before I started medical school.
Since I’ve always loved to teach and work with kids, being a pediatrician seemed like the right calling. Children deserve the best care in the world, and every child is a fresh chance to make this world a better place.
After my daughter was born, I struggled to leave her to take care of other kids. Eventually, I left clinical practice for a more flexible career in medical writing, and I struggled with a lot of guilt. I felt terrible for abandoning healthcare worker friends, my sweet little patients, and work-mommyhood balance.
In 2016, National Women Physician’s Day was founded by Dr. Hala Sabry to “break the perception that you have to choose between being a physician and being a mom” and to support each other on the journey. However, a few months ago, NPR reported that “an eye-popping 865,000 women left the U.S. workforce — four times more than men.”
From the start of the pandemic, I’ve joined the masses in becoming more like a “mommy” rather than a “doctor”, “writer”, or other esteemed positions.
I’m still learning to embrace this role.
Recently, I heard advice that we can become so fixated on what God has been doing in the past that we forget to move forward with faith in His new plans.
While this website is a passion project and far from a job, I’ve been so grateful to connect with many of you, teaching and helping your kids indirectly. I want to keep serving our community, to improve access to multilingual education which is inextricably tied with health.
But at the end of the day, I’m accepting that my most important role right now is to be here for my kids as much as possible.
A primitive privilege with no bonuses, no awards, no degree necessary.
To simply let them rest on my chest and hear mommy’s heartbeat – without a stethoscope or other trailblazing tools.
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens…
万事都有定期，天下万务都有定时…Ecclesiastes 3:1 NIV | 传道书 3:1 CNVS