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Shirlywhirl, M.D.
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PART 2 of 2 This comic is a call to action. To the admissions committees and program directors across the country- I’m asking that you look at your selection criteria. Are you interviewing candidates from HBCUs? Are you examining candidates holistically, or still determining which candidates have the most merit based on attributes that are most easily gamed by those with wealth and access? If you practice in a predominantly black community, are you advocating for more resources for pipeline programs in that community? If so, you are upholding white supremacy in your selection criteria.

Look, I’m a Ghanaian-American immigrant with educated parents. I am not of the group who you should be targeting to recruit. I am black, and I love serving my black patients- but they need people who grew up in their communities and understand their barriers more than they need more people like me.

So this #blackhistorymonth, I want to see people putting their money where their mouths are. I don’t want hashtags and well wishes, I want instrumental change and institutional review.

Please share if you share my vision!

#bhm #structuralracism #systemicracism #representation #resident #residency #intern #inpatient #doctor #womeninmedicine #blackdoctors #graphicmedicine #premed #premedmotivation #residency #internalmedicine #medschool #medicine #medicalschool #medlife #md #medstudent #nurse #physician

A #mantra, #mood and #motto in these trying times.

📸@medchiefs

#resident #residency #intern #inpatient #doctor #womeninmedicine #blackdoctors #graphicmedicine #premed #premedmotivation #residency #internalmedicine #medschool #medicine #medicalschool #medlife #md #medstudent #nurse #physician

Just played this game over the phone with one of my besties! Sorry- you gotta check with my residency overlords!

#resident #residency #intern #inpatient #doctor #womeninmedicine #blackdoctors #graphicmedicine #premed #premedmotivation #residency #internalmedicine #medschool #medicine #medicalschool #medlife #md #medstudent #nurse #physician

A black woman inspired me to go into Cardiology. Only in her 40s, she had terrible heart failure that had gone undiagnosed for years, and had been admitted to the hospital several times in the last month. Over the course of her admission, I got to know her some. She told me about the early symptoms that she, and later, the doctors she first presented to, ignored. About the impossibilities of making her appointments with her inflexible service job.

Since that patient , I’ve met many more patients like her. That’s why I’ve chosen to #RockARedLipChallenge and #GoRed- to raise awareness that Black women are at an exceptional risk for Cardiovascular Diseases (CVD) as presented by the American Heart Association.

❣️I #GoRed underneath my mask to signify the silent threat of heart disease. ❣️I #GoRed because we can’t just eliminate health disparities without the first step: education. ❣️I #GoRed because from now through May, @goclove will be dedicating their dollars and platform to support the @american_heart’s efforts to break down health inequities. ❣️ I # nominate @edna.md , @daniellebelardomd , @drmarthagulati, @ssg.to.mdphd, and @physiciandoodles to #GoRed: to be more aggressive in our efforts to detect CVD facing Black womxn both inside and outside the hospital.

📍𝘽𝙚 𝙨𝙪𝙧𝙚 𝘁𝗮𝗴 @𝗴𝗼𝗰𝗹𝗼𝘃𝗲 𝗮𝗻𝗱 #𝗚𝗼𝗥𝗲𝗱 & #𝙍𝙤𝙘𝙠𝘼𝙍𝙚𝙙𝙇𝙞𝙥𝘾𝙝𝙖𝙡𝙡𝙚𝙣𝙜𝙚 𝘁𝗼 𝗷𝗼𝗶𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘀𝗺𝗮𝗹𝗹 𝘀𝘁𝗲𝗽𝘀 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗹𝗲𝗮𝗱 𝘁𝗼 𝗰𝗼𝗹𝗹𝗲𝗰𝘁𝗶𝘃𝗲 𝘀𝘁𝗿𝗶𝗱𝗲𝘀!

Late post!

I haven’t seen my parents in a long time (over a year for my dad, 8+ months for my mom.) Our family is close in spirit but spread out across the country, and because of residency, I’ve missed all the major holidays. And because I’ve been treating COVID patients since March, I’ve avoided going home to see them. It’s been hard. In many ways, seeing my family and my best friends (Linda and I made a point to see each other three times a year in our first two years of residency) has been how I fill my tank. And without those moments to look forward to… Well, let’s just say that this year has been hard for everyone. Most of all, for the families of the 433,000 people who have died from COVID-19.

So to be able to go home and actually hug my parents without fearing for their lives? It’s awesome. I’m so grateful for this vaccine and for this moment. Things aren’t quite back to normal yet, and might not be for a while…. but I’m glad to get this little piece of normalcy back.

#resident #residency #intern #inpatient #doctor #womeninmedicine #blackdoctors #graphicmedicine #premed #premedmotivation #residency #internalmedicine #medschool #medicine #medicalschool #medlife #md #medstudent #nurse #physician

One question I get asked somewhat regularly is how I feel comfortable being so transparent about my beliefs/ myself. And I think the real answer is - I honestly really love me a lot. The way I see it, I’ve already given a lot to medicine, and so I’m not about to give up what I stand for or sanitize who I am. I realized fairly recently that trying to change myself to placate others didn’t make me happy, and so I… stopped (for better or worse lol.) I know my value, and know what I can contribute.

Not that this isn’t still an ongoing process. My self esteem used to be in the dirt, and one thing that took me a while to do is accept compliments without qualifying them. I occasionally have to beat back my imposter syndrome, and I have a few bad habits to break. The other day, for example , my boss Advanced HF attending told me to stop prefacing my questions with “sorry if this is a dumb question” bc it diminishes myself, and I took that advice to heart bc it IS.

Anyway I’m more humble than this irl but this is indeed what is going on in my head 😎

#selfesteem #impostersyndrome #resident #residency #intern #inpatient #doctor #womeninmedicine #blackdoctors #graphicmedicine #premed #premedmotivation #residency #internalmedicine #medschool #medicine #medicalschool #medlife #md #medstudent #nurse #physician

Presenting Orthopedic Surgery Girl (courtesy of @triciamelvin.md!) Dr. Melvin is a PGY4 Orthopaedic Surgery resident (whose insta bio is literally already a magical girl quote hahahah). She says it best:

“Orthopaedic surgery is the best surgical field. From womb to tomb, orthopaedics conditions affect every body. You treat just about every part in the body. The main goals are to alleviate pain, restore function and maintain mobility. Bodies in motion, stay in motion!

Ortho Girl is the most elusive of the magical medical girls (women making up only 14% of residents and only 6% all orthopods, worst of all specialities!) but when found she is quite the dynamo. Compassionate but tough, swift yet precise. She will be there to fix a broken ankle with plates and screws, decompress a crowded carpal tunnel, replace an arthritic hip with shiny metal, repair a torn meniscus, correct congenital feet deformities with serial casting, and even cure cancer. It’s always ortho season so she is ready to rumble both in the OR and in clinic at any given time (although her natural habitat is the operating room).

How does she keep it all straight? Well keepin’ it straight is what OrthoGirl is all about (literally… ortho)!”

Thanks so much for your support, @triciamelvin.md! Ortho Girl was so fun to put together, and such a badass!

A reminder re: Magical Girls — Magical Girls are only available now via commission! SO PLEASE ☺️ DO NOT COMMENT OR MESSAGE ME☺️ SAYING THAT YOU WANT YOUR SPECIALTY TO BE DONE ☺️UNLESS YOU ARE PLANNING TO RUN ME A CHECK😘.

#magicalgirl #anime #manga #medicalmagicalgirl # #orthopedics #sportsmedicine #pmr #orthopedicsurgery #ortho #surgery #orthopaedics #resident #residency #intern #inpatient #doctor #women medicine #blackdoctors #graphicmedicine #premed #premedmotivation #residency #internalmedicine #medschool #medicine #medicalschool #md #medstudent #nurse #physician

Recently, I did two weeks of Palliative Care consults. During that rotation, I had the opportunity to actually give patients/ their families time to discuss their symptoms/ concerns and answer their questions.

Some context- my team normally covers 10-20 patients (of varying acuity). We get roughly one day off a week, and between rounding, patient care, documentation, etc, most of our days are 10 hours long. Patients/families put an enormous amount of trust in their medical teams; asking questions about labs/ medications/ plans outside of rounds is actually totally reasonable. But honestly? If we gave every patient 30 minutes a day to ask additional questions, we would be stuck in the hospital for 3-6 more hours. Thus, throughout residency, I’ve treated a lot of those pages for additional info with frustration/ trepidation. (Some of that is bc a lot of those conversations also become an opportunity for family/ patients to transfer their frustration onto us but that’s a convo for another day.)

Still- it was really gratifying to actually be able to hold space for patients/ families in the way they deserve.

#resident #residency #intern #inpatient #doctor #womeninmedicine #blackdoctors #graphicmedicine #premed #premedmotivation #residency #internalmedicine #medschool #medicine #medicalschool #medlife #md #medstudent #nurse #physician

You know, I thought really hard about doing a comic about recent events, but… I’m tired of devoting energy to that and instead want to highlight the foot soldiers of our profession - primary care doctors!

Only one member of my residency class is pursuing primary care (and she is probably one of the best doctors I know as is/ I would put my parents on her panel lol.) This doesn’t come as a huge surprise to me - being a primary care doctor has been one of the hardest aspects of residency. I’m only just starting to enjoy it (Bc I love my patients), but I won’t lie and say that I’m excited to never do it again…

Our PCPs are overworked, underpaid, and under appreciated. Our insurance system relies on them to fill in impossible gaps in care, and that, on top of the bulk of the documentation, they also have to piecemeal together the decisions of numerous specialists often without access to info.

I could say more but I’m tired. Regardless, tell your PCP you appreciate them!!!!

#primarycaredoctor #pcp #fellowship #resident #residency #intern #inpatient #doctor #womeninmedicine #blackdoctors #graphicmedicine #premed #premedmotivation #residency #internalmedicine #medschool #medicine #medicalschool #medlife #md #medstudent #nurse #physician

Sorry y’all! This comic is DENSE. Zoom in pls

On NYE, I told you all that residency was terrible. And I’m not walking it back. It is truly a miserable, tiring experience. It is not for the faint of heart. I wage a daily battle to maintain my compassion in the face of challenging patient interactions, a staggering sleep debt, trauma, and frustration.

But I also recognize how incredibly lucky I am to be where I am right now. And thus, I’ve tried to make sure that I practice gratitude along with my griping. Hence, the perspective scale!

What about your current circumstances are you thankful for, and what do you wish could be better?

#fellowship #resident #residency #intern #inpatient #doctor #womeninmedicine #blackdoctors #graphicmedicine #premed #premedmotivation #residency #internalmedicine #medschool #medicine #medicalschool #medlife #md #medstudent #nurse #physician