Author Archives: stfmguestblogger

I Share This Story Because it Has Stayed With Me For Some Time

Shannon Pittman Moore, MD

Shannon Pittman Moore, MD

I am, at heart, a genuine country girl.

I grew up making mud pies, riding on the back of trucks, and swimming in the local creek. Despite the horrific racial past that will forever scar the fabric of our state, Mississippi has always been, and I believe will always be, my home.

From Pike County I was transplanted to the rich soil of Tougaloo College. There under the hanging moss, I came to appreciate, even more, the heritage and history of African Americans. Though I have clearly always been aware that I am indeed a black woman and though never disillusion that this still means something in the South, I am blessed that to have been covered by the debt paid by those who walked this road long before me. I have never been called out of my name, forced to move to the back, nor told that I don’t belong. Never beaten, refused or chained.

I have, however, tasted the subversive bitterness of unconscious bias and seen the effects of the subtle erosion caused by institutionalized racism.

Of all the stories and experiences that flood my mind of my medical education and training, I still remember the first patient who called me “Ms” and not “Dr.” I remember the patient who needed to begin our visit declaring that she, in fact, liked colored people and had colored friends. I recall being the resident on a team with my attending and three students who were all white men and walking into a patient’s room that I had been actually rounding on daily, to have her respond with awe as the team walked in that morning and express her excitement to have 1, 2, 3, 4 doctors. She started counting past me.

Years later, I still see that room and more than the patient, I see my attending not correcting the statement. Sadder still is my shame that neither did I. But I also remember being welcomed to sit with the family of this amazing lady who I had cared for since I started residency. No one in the church looked like me and yet everyone shared my same love for her. I remember a patient with elevated troponins refusing her heart cath until she could talk to her doctor that she trusted. I have had so many incredible relationships with wonderful patients, none of which stifled by differences.

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Getting the Most Out of Your Next Professional Meeting

By Joanna Drowos DO, MPH, MBA and Mandi Sehgal MD

Recently a large group of faculty from the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine at Florida Atlantic University, including physicians from various specialties and other health professions educators, attended the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine (STFM) Conference on Medical Student Education, in Jacksonville, Florida. For us as family physicians, being able to engage our colleagues, both inside and outside of our specialty, was a great way to showcase STFM, develop new collaborations, and advance in our careers.

Being at this meeting together, away from our home institution, provided opportunities to increase rapport and morale amongst our group. Given that so many of us attended and presented our work, our college took notice and pride.

We present here lessons learned and our suggestions on how to take advantage of the opportunity to attend, present, and/or network at professional meetings. We will use our experience at STFM as an example.

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Taking Baby Steps to Success

Kehinde Eniola, MD, MPH

Kehinde Eniola, MD, MPH

It takes baby steps; do not be in haste to accomplish your goal. And when it seems your goal is unattainable, never give up.

This motto is what I lived by during my journey as an immigrant from Nigeria on my way to becoming a family medicine faculty member.

My baby step to success began back in 1997 while getting ready for college in Nigeria. I was enrolled in a predegree course in basic science with the intention of getting into college to study agricultural economics. However, as fate would have it, I completed my predegree course with excellent grades and I qualified to enroll in medical science.

In my first year, I quickly realized that it takes a devoted mind and a committed heart to be successful in the field of medicine. And on top of the rigors of medical school, I endured years of studying in the dark due to inadequate electricity supply and frequent school closure due to rioting and lecturer strikes. However, despite all the hardship, I was focused on one goal: becoming a medical doctor. In 2006, I graduated from medical school and shortly after I relocated to the United States.

One might wonder “why relocate to the United States after completing medical school?” Right after medical school, I applied to various medical institutions in Nigeria for a medical internship position. After multiple attempts to get into one of these institutions failed, I decided to relocate to the United States to further my medical education. Many questions crossed my mind: What if I do not pass the required licensing exam to further my medical career in the United States? What if I cannot afford to pay for the licensing exams? What if… What if…  Some international medical graduates say that it is challenging to get into a residency program; others recommended going for a nursing program instead, to make ends meet while trying to get into a medical residency program. Despite my fear, I summoned courage and began the process of getting into a US residency program. 

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