Dear White Coat,
Despite the road travelled, the numerous medical school interviews and the host of trials and tribulations, I wear you proudly. You do not solely represent the transition into the professional arena of medicine, you also are a dream-fulfilled. It is not only a sign of the profession, it is a reminder that my dream is worth holding onto. That a little black girl, despite a challenging upbringing, can achieve the dream she held unswervingly to. That she could follow in the steps of Dr. Daniel Hale Williams and Dr. Charles R. Drew and pioneer useful techniques.
Your seams, that so effortlessly hold you together, represent the family and friends who held a young growing woman together when all she wanted to do was fall apart. A support system who, although they were not familiar with this process, sacrificed their time and money to ensure this woman had a chance to experience her dream.
Oh white coat, I do appreciate you. You do not represent a pinnacle of success, rather a longitudinal journey that has begun a new chapter. Like the wise have said: “This is not a sprint, but a marathon.”
As the years progress, help to remind me of the reasons I chose medicine. My community, and others like it, will never forget me and I must return their acknowledgement. Let me always remember to clothe myself with humility as I learn from physicians as well as patients. To laugh, as patients share with me their funny moments. And to show honor and respect, when patients share their health complications.
Dear white coat, thank you for the momentous occasion. May I never forget you, and what you mean to me.
“All the work that I do, whether or not it ends up being commercially successful or not, feels like the most important thing to me while I’m doing it. I try to take something away from every project, and so they all feel like milestones for one reason or another.”