I’ve quoted this many times before, but I’ll do it again cause it’s been so meaningful for me in various stages of my life and career: My Latin teacher in high school (shoutout to Davey) would say, Surround yourself with people who make you better, and who you make better. And since I can’t find an original source when I search for that exact phrase on Google, I’ll say that he was the man who said it first.

This idea was at the forefront of my mind yesterday during a session we had about healthcare disparities, specifically around maternal morbidity and mortality, and how in America, unlike most “developed” nations, maternal mortality has actually been increasing over the years. Unsurprisingly, due to injustices that exist (and have existed since our founding) in this country, this increase has disproportionately affected black women in America.

While I do want to talk about the data and some of the potential solutions we discussed in that session in another post, I just wanted to take some time to express my appreciation for the people in my class. I feel like in many cases it can be hard to motivate some students who were once premeds and who score as high in neuroticism as medical students do to talk about things that are not going to be “high yield” for upcoming exams, but when it comes to talking about real issues affecting vulnerable and marginalized people in our society the students in my cohort SHOW UP. They aren’t afraid to vocalize their thoughts and to challenge the status quo, and they do it articulately and with so much grace.

Not sure how much I can contribute to the second part of my teacher’s quote, but I will try to learn from example. Change is coming to healthcare in America, and I’m proud to be in the presence of the future physicians who are going to make that happen.


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