A Letter from our Co-Editor-In-Chief, Dr. Amber Robins:
As you may know, last week we observed Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. day. During this time we traditionally think of his words in the iconic “I Have a Dream” speech. Usually during this time of year, I too start to think about all that was sacrificed for me. I also think about the POWER of dreaming.
I didn’t come from a family of doctors. I came from a family of teachers (mostly women) who truly believed that anything was possible if you just set your mind to it and dreamt big. No matter what the circumstance, there was always hope if you just kept pushing forward. Growing up in this supportive environment made me think that being a doctor was actually possible. It wasn’t just a dream for me as a young black girl, but it was a reality that would come to fruition.
Many times when we think of the dream that Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke about, we think about racial equality. We don’t necessarily think of the POWER of dreaming. The power of looking ahead to a brighter future. There is a special kind of magic that happens when we dream. I often think about the young girls out there like me who dream of becoming a doctor. Even though they may not know about the grueling road ahead, I always hope that they can continue to dream big. I hope that their dreams are not crushed by the naysayers around them and that they can rise above to be who they want to be. I hope that their dream, like mine, will become a reality.
But what happens to those who dreamed to be a doctor and achieved the dream? Do their dreams just stop there? I hope not. As women doctors we have so many more things to dream about and it’s our job to bring them to reality. We have work to do to have gender equity in pay, overcome stereotypes and imposter syndrome, and maintain our seats at the table in making decisions for our respective disciplines. This work is necessary to keep the dreams alive for young girls with hopes of being a doctor one day. We have to make things better for them and their future as others have done for us. This work is what we have been called to do. And yes, this work can also get hard and daunting. But just like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr said, “If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”
Let’s do it, ladies! Let’s keep rocking on and dreaming big! Let’s keep moving forward!
One way to do that is by joining together as a force. That’s why we are so glad that you are here with us in Women in White Coats. Our deepest hope is to help reignite your dreams and passions. With that in mind, we have been diligently planning our Women in White Coats conference and wellness retreat this spring to help you dream even bigger. (By the way, it’s not too late to register before prices go up. Regular registration closes on February 2nd.) This time we are planning to have together is to fill your cup back up. It’s our hope to pour into you great things so that you then can pour them into others around you.
Amber Robins, MD, MBA