When I started middle school, I moved to a foreign place without being able to speak a word of English. During my middle school introduction I was forced to speak English for the first time in front of a class of immature kids who laughed at my #accent. At that time, I thought I was not allowed to question anyone or speak up. I wish I would have been able to speak up when I was told I did not belong in the states and that I was not supposed to be in college as an immigrant. I spent part of my youth unable and unwilling to speak. I spent way too long not understanding, not speaking, not sharing because I was scared, because I couldn't, or because I didn't belong.
Today, I learned about a study published by vascular surgeons on unprofessional attire on social media. The "unprofessional attire" included bathing suits and bikinis, alcoholic beverages and it stated that as young professionals we should refrain from posting such pictures that could compromise our career. As a response, I am posting this picture of me in a bathing suit.
To all women healthcare professionals, say it with me, from now on, "I will stand up for myself and my beliefs. I will stand up for those I love. I will speak my mind, think my own thoughts, and do things my way. I won't compromise what's in my heart to please you. I will live my life my way. I won't allow anyone to step on me. I will refuse to tolerate injustice. I will have the courage and strength to allow myself to be ME. So try to stomp on me, douse my inner flame, squash every ounce of beauty I hold within, but you won't succeed. If that makes me a B*tch, so be it."
Your future vascular surgeon (maybe)
On the left, I am in a bathing suit enjoying my vacation after studying 24/7. On the right I am wearing my white coat. I started my own research project, submitted IRB, created a medical student taskforce for COVID along with other classmates, published a community hotline on the AAMC icollaborative, and developed an artificial intelligence project.
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