By Dr. Jaime D. Lewis
Do you dare to be you?
Have you taken a chance on yourself to live out your dreams? To be true to the voices inside your heart?
When was the last time you truly failed? And you truly flew?
Who supports you when you take on the cynics? And believes every word that you say?
Where do you land when you fall? And who picks you up when you can no longer walk?
Who raises you up to celebrate your victories? And who helps you face defeat without losing heart?
As women in medicine, it can be difficult to expose our true selves and risk the consequences.
We want to point out the inequities, but not be seen as unworthy.
We are challenged to lean in, but fear that we might lean in too far.
We want to share our stories, but we aren’t sure if anyone else really wants to listen.
We want to succeed, often forgetting that failure is part of that process.
We feel alone, noting that we are the only one in the group who looks like us.
And we are discouraged we review that statistics that seem to be improving at barely a snail’s pace.
Then we are reminded of the Association of Women Surgeons and the annual conference where we are able indulge in the friendships, mentorship, and fellowship of those in attendance. These relationships provide us with courage we need to truly dare to be ourselves. And with the passing of the year, many of us are anxiously awaiting the renewal of the energy we gain at each meeting.
This year’s conference is scheduled to start in a little over a week. The lineup of speakers is worthy of a red carpet rollout. Dr. Caprice Greenberg will speak about gender equity. Dr. Melina Kibbe with provide the keynote address entitled, Implication of Sex Bias in Research. Dr. Celeste Hollands will end the Saturday session, and an outstanding term, with her presidential speech.
We will have to opportunity to explore ways to lean in, remain standing, celebrate success, and navigate failure. We will hear about landmark papers in surgery. We will make new friends, strengthen old relationships, and engage as mentees and mentors. We will learn to coach others and probably learn more about ourselves in the process.
Are you attending AWS 2018 in Boston?
If not, go ahead, sign up (To register click here). My challenge coin is waiting.
I. Dare. You. To. Be. You. Engage. Empower. Excel.
Jaime D. Lewis, MD, FACS, practices breast surgery at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine in Cincinnati, Ohio where she also completed her general surgery residency. After residency, she spent a year in Tampa, Florida training in breast surgical oncology at the Moffitt Cancer Center. Dr. Lewis is committed to improving wellness and professional development opportunities of the medical students and residents with whom she is privileged to work. Outside of the hospital, she enjoys running and time with her family.
Our blog is a forum for our members to speak, and as such, statements made here represent the opinions of the author and are not necessarily the opinion of the Association of Women Surgeons.