Walking into the doors of the building I was greeted with beautiful decor dawning royal hues that perfectly complemented the unique shades of brilliant bronze, golden copper, and vibrant caramel the females in attendance flaunted proudly. As I took my seat my gaze fell upon the faces of my fellow young aspiring doctors, nurses, and surgeons. Their eyes squinted into crows feet with excitement and their lips wrapped around their toothy grins with anticipation. My eyes swept across the room to find more young ladies of color, draped in elegant garments and their natural coils expertly tailored to suit their individual styles. Once I fully settled into such a breathtaking display of black, female excellence my attention fell forward. To the front of the room sat a diverse group of strong women in the medical field bearing wisdom for the youth before them, ignorant to the medical professional experience as a woman of color. And just before the event officially started the aroma of sweet, savory treats and your choice of assorted proteins and complex carbs wafted past my nose, overwhelming my nostrils. Dr. Bilbrew held more than a brunch, but an aptly sculpted morning filled with good food, nice scenery, and invaluable information
Our introduction into the world of female doctors, through their unfiltered lens, was given by Dr. Bilbrew herself. Prior to her breath leaving the comfort of her mouth, her mere presence and attire commanded the attention of the entire banquet. Her synopsis eloquently paintinted a detailed overview of what we were to expect that morning and her background as a neurosurgeon. She proceeded to introduce all the women who volunteered to share their stories that morning by name and medical title. Once she finished, she modestly stepped back, opening the floor to her colleagues and peers, they then passed their torch along to us. They encouraged us to ask them any queries that rattled our brains. Three brave hands raised, one of the three, stood tall, confidently asking her first question and igniting a standard that would be set for each girl after her. The first question was met with a different answer from each woman. We all leaned in, engaged and eyes glued to each speaker. The first question struck a match of confidence, as if the room had suddenly flipped upside down, a plethora of eager hands raced up into the air.
The women spoke of stories ranging from light hearted good times encompassing jolly and glee to recalling scenarios of blatant disrespect, racism, and misogyny from male counterparts. They stressed the importance of being confident and unwavering when entering our respective medical spaces to abstain from discouragement or misrepresenting ourselves by retaliating unscrupulously. They also highlighted the benefits of branching out and mingling with people studying under other fields in college. According to them, this made you more well rounded and overall made your college experience much more tolerable and excelled your growth as a person due to exposing yourself to diverse backgrounds, ideas, and diverging perspectives. The topic shifted to the various different job titles there are to choose from in the medical field. Most of them switched from what they’d originally wanted to do when they’d first gotten into college. They explained that it was okay to explore other specialties within the field to make sure what you ultimately do is what you actually have an affinity for. Lastly they noted the significance of having more young women of color in the medical field and how that would greatly change the landscape for medical research for more diverse women. It would also impact the care of our women and it would help to keep us safe and make sure we have people to go to that we can trust, lack bias, and have our best interest at heart.
Dr. Bilbrew created an experience open to any young woman interested in breaking into the medical arena. Her brunch was an amazing experience. All my senses fluttered with engagement, it was an event I’d definitely attend again if given the chance. Luckily, for anyone interested, next year you could have this experience stretched across three days! Imagine, three days of mouth watering plates, bonding with your peers, and having the opportunity to absorb information from people in the field you’re passionate about. This brunch taught me alot and really opened my eyes to how much of an asset women of color are to the medical field, I'm so happy I was able to attend.