Recently, several attending physicians sparked controversy on Twitter by implying that low-income medical students or trainees should not pursue careers in medicine. While these tweets have since been deleted, the systemic injustices that they echo still ring in the highest levels of modern medical education. As a medical trainee from an impoverished household, I have spent almost my entire post-secondary education and medical training as part of an invisible demographic.
My fingers tense. Frozen not of my own accord. I want to do this, but I can’t. I need to do this, yet the anxiety grips at my mind and throat, stalling what should be an easy decision. As a Black, gay medical student in my fourth year, what I’m about to do has so many repercussions and permutations. So much so that I feel stuck, unable to be decisive when decisiveness is necessary.
“You could help us with our diversity efforts. If you came here, you could be a part of building up our diversity program.” Who said I wanted to help with your diversity efforts? Why hasn’t it been built up already?
I constantly have to deal with racism and homophobia. In Boston. In America. When I leave work and go home, I have to prepare to deal with the same prejudices the following day. Why would I ever go out of my way to read such stories in my spare time, as I recover from the day behind me?
Content warning: The following article is about sexual assault and rape. I think it is time to be honest with myself and the world and say that I am a survivor of sexual assault, not a victim. I have taken the power away from my abuser and given it back to myself by speaking out.
Michael A. Belmonte, MD (1 Posts)
Resident Physician Contributing Writer
Indiana University School of Medicine
Michael is a PGY-3 in obstetrics and gynecology at Indiana University in Indianapolis. He completed his BS at Northwestern University and his MD at University of Illinois in Chicago. He is dedicated to minority medical education, reproductive justice and health equity. In his free time, he enjoys all things travel, food, and games. He is currently applying to fellowships in family planning.