Updated: Aug 19, 2018
Like Melissa, I grew up playing sports. Where I lived, they did not have girls basketball league (it was actually called Dwarf-Giraffe Boys League). Therefore, I grew up playing with the boys. I played in the boys league; I played in the city parks against boys. I learned to jump higher, run faster, and out hustle everyone else. I frequently fouled out of basketball games because I was "too aggressive." At that point, I, along with my very supportive dad, began advocating for a girls division in our league. A year later, we had started the Girls Basketball division. It started with 4 teams and a 9 game season, now there are 5 divisions and countless games every season.
This is where my advocacy for women started, but certainly not where it ended.
During college, I studied Sociology. Specifically, I studied sex and gender, women and society, and the sociology of medicine. I wrote papers on gender in medicine, the LGBTQ population and medicine, and how patient-provider interactions affect health comes. During one of my courses we read "White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack" by Peggy McIntosh, which has helped shape how I approach the world.
My Invisible Knapsack includes my race, my health, my education, my hometown, my socioeconomic status, my sexual orientation, and countless others. I began acknowledging my own privilege and coming up with ways I could use my privilege to help amplify and provide opportunities to others.
In Medical School, I was a founding member of our LGBT organization, as an ally. Starting in my second year of medical school, I have gone out of my way to mentor women and underrepresented minorities in medicine. I entered residency in a class of 3 women and 12 men (yes, that’s 1/5 women). I knew I had to address this inequality. Along with my former Chief Resident, current Assistant Residency Director, and most importantly best friend, Melissa Parsons, we created a Women in Emergency