National Women Physicians Day 2018
February 3rd marked the second annual National Women Physicians Day. It was an inaugural day last year, commemorating the birthday of Elizabeth Blackwell, the first American woman trained as a physician (at least in traditional western medicine, likely there were predecessors in the Native Nations here).
Last year, I wrote about the many women physicians who have inspired me along my own journey, most importantly my mom. This year, I'd like to write about the many patients who inspire me.
There have been so many families who have let me into their lives. Too many to count, so many that share the little things that matter so much. I feel honored to be a part of that, a tiny part of helping out their kids. And too many details for me to write without invading privacy.
But let me just say this: thank you.
Thank you for the privilege and the trust you put into us as your child's doctor.
I think about my Lola, who would likely have been a physician if her life and opportunity allowed it to be so. (Yes, she's the one who has a PhD and many other degrees....at a time when it would have been tough for women too.) I think about my mom who trained during a difficult period, at a time when there was rampant inequality between men and women in medicine, which is improving though we still have a ways to go. And I think about my own decisions that brought me to becoming a pediatrician, and finally to this community in my current for the last year and a half, where I have had true continuity and an awesome team to work with.
I feel blessed and so happy that I've had this opportunity to be a pediatrician and to work with all these families. Yes, even on those tough days when we're overwhelmed and overbooked. Or those tougher days when someone is truly sick and we're doing the best we can. Or those even tougher days, like when we learn 'bad news' about a little one. Yes, I take my work home with me, in my heart. My husband can testify to that fact.
There are times when my mind is a whirl trying to figure something out, there are times, like now, when I'm mourning. There are times when a giggle, chortle, smile and high-five brighten my day.
Time for Your Check-Up
Lastly I'd like to share a little story and I hope it's okay with my little patient, P. I'm calling her 'P' for Peppa Pig, who is one of her favorites. She is also fond of Doc McStuffins and this is where my story comes in. As I was seeing P, her mom told me a 'by the way' that MADE MY DAY. You see, P likes to wear her Doc Mcstuffins white coat and play doctor. And as she does so, she tells her parents "I'm Dr. Tioleco!". And last week, they even shared the video with me. I've never been more proud. Thank you, P and family, for sharing this story with me.
Of course I also shared the story with my mom. Her response? "I'm Dr. Tioleco too!"
The featured photo above is of the two Dr. Tiolecos, posted with permission. (There are three if you count the fact that my Lolo/Grandpa was a dentist. And, yes, I mostly go by my mom's maiden name because Tioleco-Cheng is too long and Cheng alone is confusing since there are so many Dr. Chengs and Dr. Changs. And, yes, the whole thing is my maiden name. Mr. Bookworm understands.)
Tell Dr. Bookworm!
Do you have a doctor (male or female) who has made a difference in your life? How and why? Let me know in the comments. Or, even better, let your doctor know directly. I promise that you'll make their day. :D