Shirlywhirl, M.D.

One thing about me is i’ma use content creation for therapy!

Being in the public eye is hard for me. I’m soft. I’m a people pleaser at heart. I will drive myself into the ground to make other people happy to the point that they have come to expect it of me. And I will always, ALWAYS, publicly root for other Black women. I don’t even name names of the ones who do me dirty, tho y’all know I could. After all, I know what we have to go through to make it into these spaces.

But over the years, I’ve had to contend with the reality that this sentiment isn’t universal. And that’s okay. We are not a monolith, and we don’t have to agree on what solidarity looks like (or even if it should exist.)

Still, seeing those posts was really rough. I had to process it, talk about it with friends & in therapy, and then finally, remind myself that the work I do DOES matter, immensely, to so many. To all of you who have sent me DMs telling me you felt seen by my work - thank you. To those of you who felt understood or seen- thank you. You keep me going. Thank you especially to @shalomalom , who sent me this beautiful voice note weeks ago. Even when I don’t reply, I read every one. 💛💙💛 #booktok #onrotation #writing #authors #authorsofinstagram #writersofinstagram #shirleneobuobi #blackauthors #bipocauthors #healthcareworkers #hcws #residency #cardiology #fellowship #wic #intern #internship #meded #doctor #womeninmedicine #blackdoctors #medicine #medicalschool #md #medstudent #physician #bookstagram #blackbooktok

I know I’m out of pocket for this one but 🤷🏿‍♀️ Fun fact: when I was a kid, I did in fact look up “casseroles” because they showed up in all the books I was reading, and let me tell you I was not impressed

👗: @fabletics #myfabletics #moveinfabletics

#booktok #onrotation #writing #authors #authorsofinstagram #writersofinstagram #shirleneobuobi #blackauthors #bipocauthors #healthcareworkers #hcws #residency #cardiology #fellowship #wic #intern #bookstagram #blackbooktok

ON ROTATION’s expanded dedication, for @barnesandnobles’ summer #booktokchallenge!

Thank you so much to everyone who contributed to this last minute production (was supposed to get it done in august…which technically it still is lol.) I’ve been wanting to make something like it since we finalized the cover, and didn’t expect to get as emotional as I did while I was putting it together. It helped remind me why I decided to write OR so many years ago- to give a chance for people like the ones I know to have their stories told.

If you’re in this video, please comment with a 💛💙so that I can tag you!

#booktok #onrotation #writing #authors #authorsofinstagram #writersofinstagram #shirleneobuobi #blackauthors #bipocauthors #healthcareworkers #hcws #residency #wic #intern #doctor #womeninmedicine #blackdoctors #medicine #medicalschool #medstudent #physician #bookstagram

Raise your hand if you have a strong maternal instinct and like kids but recognize that childcare is exorbitantly expensive, the world is burning, half these jobs don’t give bennies, & also you gave most of your reproductive years to your career and don’t feel like you had the time to really live life so maybe it would be cool to just say YOLO and live that DILDO (dual income large dog owners) lifestyle 🙋🏿‍♀️

(Here before the mommas flood the comments to tell me how it can be done, I know fam, pls allow me to whine in peace o)

#shirleneobuobi #healthcareworkers #hcws #physicians #residency #cardiology #fellowship #wic #intern #internship #meded #doctor #womeninmedicine #blackdoctors #graphicmedicine #medicine #medicalschool #md #medstudent #physician #webcomic

One of the big differences between the me of yesteryear and the me of today is that I no longer tolerate discomfort. I will find every excuse to wear sneakers. When I’m online shopping for heels, I filter out anything above 3 inches and specifically highlight “block” and “comfort” in my searches. I wear sports bras more often than I’d like to admit, so if you see me irl sporting the uniboob you better mind your business. So when @allbirds asked if I would like to team up, you best BELIEVE I said yes!

I’ve gotten Allbirds for basically everyone I love but myself & heard them wax poetic about how comfy they are, so if you’re considering buying them as a gift, or even gracing yourself with a pair (because your feet matter too!), go for it. I’m obsessed with mine. Add a pair of socks to your cart - they’re free at checkout with my link - and I’ll keep you abreast of any new promotions !

📸: @linnliu

#weareallbirds, #allbirdsaffiliate #healthcareworkers #hcws #physicians #residency #cardiology #fellowship #wic #intern #internship #meded #doctor #womeninmedicine #blackdoctors #graphicmedicine #medicine #medicalschool #md #medstudent #physician

My fellow physicians. We gotta keep nurses’ names out of our mouths.

My thoughts: a lot of us in medicine martyr ourselves. We’re trained to. We are told by executives, admin, patients, and our own role models that our sole role is to serve, that we are immensely privileged to be in our profession (which we are), that we get paid well enough that we shouldn’t complain about the service we signed up for. I often get told that I am “brave” for pushing against this concept, which I think is dehumanizing and makes us ripe for exploitation by people looking for inexhaustible worker bees.

I would think & hope our frustration would translate to more collective action. But instead…I see a lot of the ire about these issues- issues that originate within OUR profession– being put on NURSING. We’re upset that nurses have administrative positions. We’re upset that nurses have expanded their practice over the years. We’re upset, in a lot of ways, that nursing as a profession has negotiated a perceived better work/life balance than we have. And we’ve rallied behind entire organizations whose whole purpose is to take down nursing institutions, even though half the time we’re the ones hurting ourselves. Y’all! We could get our bag too if more of us could get it together!

I think there’s a lot of nuance to this take, including elements that I encounter in training that I hope my followers who are advanced practitioners / nurses consider, & I’ll try to get to it in my story. But I also want to point out that when I said I was going to post this comic, I got TONS of gleeful DMs assuming it was going to be slamming on nurses for interpersonal slights. And I promise you, if that’s the discourse you want to be having, there’s plenty of it on Twitter. And disclaimer since the internet likes to think in black & white: this isn’t meant to diminish any negative interpersonal experiences that any of you, esp women, may have had. (I’ve had those too! I’ve drawn about them!)

Using my morning covid energy burst to edit my first tiktok-y #tiktok, which I ofc used to trauma dump, @jakademik_md how did I do? #medstagram #shirleneobuobi #blackdoctors #womeninmedicine

I am really really bad at keeping secrets, and I’m so glad to get to announce this one! EXPOSURE, my second novel, will be out in Summer 2024.

I call EXPOSURE my burnout book. I had a few chapters of a different Cardiology related novel written for my second novel, but when it started feeling like a prison instead of an escape, I knew I had to switch gears. There was so much pent up trauma & frustration leftover from the pandemic, from residency, that needed to be released. And y’all know I create at least in part to cope 😂

And so I conceived Josephine “Jo” Boateng, who has curated an image of herself online as the embodiment of feminine power (brilliant, beautiful, defiantly single), but has also neglected her personal life, only half dealt with her childhood trauma, and who feels a tremendous amount of guilt about leaving her primary care practice for locums. It’s hard for Jo to believe that people would love her if they really knew her. And then she meets Mal, who is authentically awkward, well-loved, and himself settling into a new life, and, well, you’ll find out what happens in 2 years.

Like ON ROTATION, EXPOSURE is meant to do a lot of things at once: showcase an experience, educate a bit about the state of medicine from a physician’s perspective, and, most importantly, tell a love story.

#shirleneobuobi #healthcareworkers #hcws #physicians #residency #cardiology #fellowship #wic #intern #internship #meded #doctor #womeninmedicine #blackdoctors #graphicmedicine #medicine #medicalschool #md #medstudent #physician #booktok #authorsofinstagram #onrotation #writing #authors #authorsofinstagram #writersofinstagram #shirleneobuobi

All the African parents who send their kids to my page for “inspiration” aren’t gonna like this one.

I frequently get asked for advice/ mentorship by premeds. And while I don’t have the bandwidth to provide personalized advice, I can give you this.

My selfish reasons for pursuing medicine: 1) I honestly have a hard time doing anything just because I “should” [ see: continuing to prioritize my art at great risk to my career lol ] and had a hard time feeling motivated or excited about other professions 2) have a savior complex / read a bunch about social justice & medical bias and was arrogant enough to think I could put a crack in that 3) get dopamine rush from good patient interactions 4) a desire to be respected / admired for my expertise 4) a stable profession with an almost guaranteed 6 fig income 5) familiarity with the profession because my mom is a doctor 6) a general fascination with the human body.

Some of these have held up over the years (mainly #2). Others have not. Looking back, I don’t know if I would have chosen differently. I still want to practice clinical medicine. But I want to practice in a way that avoids moral injury (meaning: longer appointments, adequate staff support) and still allows me to do the things I love with the people I love, and I know that I won’t be able to do that without being part time. Which, given hospitals squeeze as many hours and responsibilities out of docs, will probably mean that after 14 years of training, medicine might end up being my “side hustle.”

How would you advise students who are considering careers in medicine?

#shirleneobuobi #healthcareworkers #hcws #physicians #residency #cardiology #fellowship #wic #intern #internship #meded #doctor #womeninmedicine #blackdoctors #graphicmedicine #medicine #medicalschool #md #medstudent #physician #webcomic

A quick bday wrap up post.

I’m 30 now. I’ve felt 30 since I was 28 & have been conveniently rounding up for patients who think I look too young, to friends when I’m complaining about being “a grown ass woman, thank you very much.” Medical training + the pandemic + my adopted country literally & figuratively burning itself down have aged me. You ever look at med school grad pictures of your residents and think “dang, you went through an Obama presidency?” That’s me, but on the inside.

Still, I’m so very young, and so very lucky. My life is full of love. I feel comfortable & confident in my skin and in who I am. The little gap-toothed girl with an accent, early-onset acne, & an obsession with anime could never have imagined that her art would become something visible to the world, that she could follow all her dreams at once. She would never have dreamt up her wonderful husband, or her intensely loyal and loving friends. She couldn’t have imagined having a platform where people listened or cared about what was in her head. Honestly, in many ways, she couldn’t have fathomed the happiness, the security, the fulfillment that I’m lucky to feel most days. I’m teary-eyed typing this, because despite appearances, being able to feel this way about myself took a lot of hard work.

Anyway, thank you @rissmneilson , @buu_who_ , @sashiiimii_i & @jennyhollander (who planned the whole shindig 🤩) for giving me the best 30th bday weekend a girl could ask for, and to all of my day ones and day 10,950s who make everyday worth celebrating. 💛💙