Let's talk about descrimination in medicine…
On this week's episode of the Lunch and Learn with Dr. Berry we have Dr. Kat Ogle a board-certified Emergency Medicine physician, currently practicing at The George Washington University Hospital, Washington VA Medical Center and United Medical Center in Washington, DC. As a first-generation college graduate and physician she began her career as a registered nurse. Dr. Ogle is on faculty at George Washing University where she serves as the medical instructor for residents, medical students & fellows.
This week we have Dr. Ogle on the show to discuss her contribution to the “The Chronicles of Women in White Coats Vol 2”. We have an amazing conversation on inclusion and the need to remove the discriminatory practices in medicine.
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Welcome to another episode of the Lunch and Learn with Dr. Berry. I'm your host, Dr. Berry Pierre, your favorite Board Certified Internist. Founder of drberrypierre.com, as well the CEO of Pierre Medical Consulting. Helping you empower yourself for better health with the number one podcast for patient advocacy, affirmation and education. This week we bring you Dr. Kat Ogle, who is a Board Certified Emergency Medicine Physician currently practicing at George Washington University. Most importantly, she started out a registered nurse before becoming a physician. Which for those who have known me, I've always talked about the story how when I was an intern. The first time I learned how to treat this really significant, critical care illness, in ICU was from a nurse. So I've always had a love and respect for our nursing community, because I know how hard they work. So definitely love having that background.
And, she talks about that a lot on the podcast this week, and we're going to be talking to her, not only because, she is an amazing where'd you see medicine physician. She is extremely active in medical education where not only she teaches residents, but she also teaches fellows as well as medical students but most importantly, she is also an author. So she's added that, to her list of amazing things that she's already doing. And we're going to be talking about her contribution to the most recent anthology, the Chronicles of Women and White Coats – Volume Two. And we're going to be talking about her motivation and what got her to the point where she said, I need to put a pen down paper. So this is going to be another amazing episode. So please stay tuned for a lot of amazing insight that you do not want to miss. Remember subscribe to the podcast, tell 10 of your friends and take notes. You guys have a blessed day.
Alright, Lunch and Learn Community. You just heard amazing introduction from a guest who I am very interested in talking to. One, because she is an accomplished author. Two, because just looking at her bio she's into graduate medical education. Really more importantly, we're going to talk about her work as an ally in the White Coats for Black Lives Movement. Dr. Ogle, thank you for coming on to Lunch and Learn Community and blessing us with your presence, and really just getting us to get, appreciate it.
Dr. Kat Ogle
Thank you so much for having me. I really appreciate it.
So what I like to do, especially in the beginning because typically have a lot of my listeners who even I do a good introduction, I think is a good introduction. They always kind of fast forward and go to the main part of, I think they just like to skip my commercial. I have a little commercial. I think they like to skip the commercial aspect of it, and go right to this main episode. Who is Dr. Ogle and give them a little bit of a, like, hey, if you skip this, this is who I am. This is why you should listen to me. This is why I'm so amazing.
Dr. Kate Ogle
I'm Dr. Kate Ogle. I am a Board Certified Emergency Physician and I'm actually the first person to go to college in my family. So, I actually was a nurse for seven years before I became a physician because I wanted to try it out and make sure it was really what I wanted to do before investing the time and the money, because I was responsible for paying for my college education. And so those foundational years as a nurse were really informative and really helpful for me in maturing as a young adult and really preparing me to be a physician. In my practice, I am in an academic emergency department and I work in three different hospitals. One of them is the community hospital or the city hospital. So it's lower resources and folks who are really beholden to social determinants of health. And the other is the Veterans Administration Hospital, and then our Tertiary Academic Center. So I have three very different clinical sites where I see patients. And then I am also as an academician. I teach at the medical school with medical students, residents, fellows, and I do some faculty development as well. My passions, I would say are primarily medical education and point of care ultrasound. And more recently I have really developed a passion for diversity and inclusion and really transitioning that over into what it means for me to be an ally to person of color.
And what I love is, and I tell people all the time. Every physician's path is different to get to where you're at. Typically, the patients and really just the general community typically see the end result. And, for some reason they think we golf a lot. I've never, again, I've never actually golfed a day in my life. But they think we golf a lot. They just kind of seem like, they keep inviting me. And I'm like, yeah, I can't do it. Like if someone, one day someone's going to have to like drag me, and then I'm pretty sure it'd be surprised. I'd probably love it. Like if I actually got there, but I don't know. I think the closest I got was they did a simulation and it seemed interesting, but I was so bad at it.
And I stopped doing it. I'm like, I'm terrible at this. I'm not gonna keep embarrassing myself in front of all of my colleagues out here. So, it's interesting when I see especially those who come from the nursing field, who come into medicine, especially because I figured if you're that close to our field, you're like, oh, it's rough over there. Sometimes I almost feel like that could be a terrible for you, it seems like you saw where you were at, you saw where you can be kind of in the future. You're like, Oh, you know what, I'm I still want to go there. And I love that story because I talked to a lot of pre-meds who they're always weary and concerned about whether, they can do this as a second career or they can do this as like, so something else before medicine. They always feel like it has to be this rush job where they have to go right from a middle school, the high school to undergrad, to medical school.
And I'm like, it doesn't work. I can promise you, it does not work like that. That's not the ideal situation. And, interestingly, even serving some of the medical school interviews sometimes we look at that like, like I wonder this person's going to be kind of able to handle the transition. Because they've never had a break per se. So I definitely love just hearing that path saying, you know what, I worked as a registered nurse. You did a lot of critical care, right. You were not only a registered nurse. You are one of our trenches for real. I tell people this all the time when I was an intern, which is first year residency. A registered nurse who was a ICU nurse at the time, she was the first person to teach me like how to treat DKA.
Like she was, no, no, no, we're going to, you need to do this. And you got to follow the serial. Be like she was the one who educated me. So again, I just love nursing in general. Because, as a hospitalist, like you almost have to how can you not love nurses in general. You have to, because you realize how much you have to lean on their level of experience when it comes to patient care. Because honestly they're going to see the patient more than me. I just going to be honest. I'm in there and out of there. But they're going to spend that time. So I love leading the nurses. I love our physicians who have that background in nursing because I think it definitely gives them that other picture to be able to kind of look at medicine as a whole.
So talk to me. I’m very interested. Because obviously you're pretty involved in the graduate medical education as well. And of course, as a Program Director, I poke my eyes kind of like get big why? Because I love to see those in academic medicine. Because I mean not too many of us in the medicine field really choose to focus on academic medicine. So what was it about your training that led you in that direction, when you say what medicine may be for me, what was it that you liked about it?
So it probably started with my roots in nursing because I was always in a position to be a peer educator because I was first a charge nurse. And then when I got into the ICU, I helped to develop our curriculum for our onboarding of new nurses. And I was always very interested about how people learn and how to teach things to people. And I also feel like by mastering something and being able to teach it to somebody else, then that means that you really have a solid understanding of it. And there's nothing probably more exciting to me as an educator, then seeing the light bulb go on for somebody because when they get it, there's just so much pride, so much intrinsic pride for you, but also you just feel the pride beaming from them when they finally understand the concept, or they're finally able to explain something or they're finally able to solve a puzzle.
It's just a beautiful thing. And I also think the thing that drew me to academic medicine was the fact that all of these students coming in these young doctors coming in, they are sharp and they keep me on my toes. They ask really difficult questions. They ask really challenging questions. And it is inspiring and intimidating. And I feel like it just keeps me yearning for more information. Because as physicians, we go into this, knowing that we're going to be lifelong learners, we're going to spend our lives learning the medicine, learning the most updated treatment, methodologies, and learning the new medications and learning the new treatment regimens, but also just they totally keep us on our toes. And I think that energy really was something that fed me. And I think when I look at my friends who have gone into emergency medicine in the community, and I look at the number of hours that they work clinically, and I think about sort of how I balance my love for medicine and my love for emergency medicine.
I do love being in the ER, I love taking care of patients in the ER. I love taking care of emergencies. I love that rush that you get when somebody comes in with a really sick, laceration or, a stroke or a heart attack and trauma, and you're just on it. You get your team together and you go through a, to z, that's a rush. But I know myself. And I think part of this comes from having a little bit of experience prior to being here. That wasn't all I wanted to do. I also wanted to be able to give back in a way. And I think that's one of the things that just makes academics, such a beautiful thing.
What I love is you hit literally all of the points. Why I love it as well, too, right on the head, especially because in you're not even exaggerating the students, the residents. I don't work with fellows, but I can only imagine they keep you on your toes and they don't even allow you right to slack. You may one day, hey, I just want to slack. I want to chill and relax a little bit. And then they hit you with a question and you're like, all right, let me go, let me, let me get back on it. Like I can't because you can't even rest. And this is such an enriching experience because you learn, you see them, you watch them grow, you see them as scared medical students, scared interns.
And then you see them leave as confident, senior residents soon to be attending. So it was definitely such a transformation that you're able to witness month by month, year by year that really difficult to kind of replicate. So I definitely love that aspect as well too, especially wouldn't cut it when it comes to graduate medical education and dealing with those who really keep us on our toes and really the future of our profession. Now, I will say it is especially with everything going on. How are you able to have free time to even say, I want to write this book. So, I want to talk about the motivation behind the Women in White Code Series, too, which you're a co-author in and what was the origin story behind that? And how did you find time especially with everything that you do in Lunch Learn community? This is a busy person right here. I train at Wellington, I'm a Program Director at Wellness Regional Medical Center. And, GW George Washington is one of our company standpoint, one of our sister hospitals per se. And I already know how crazy busy it is over there. So I can only imagine it and she's at two other different hospitals. So I can only imagine just how busy and time consuming that may be. So I do ask how did you end up, where you say, you know what, I'm going to write something. I want to hit it off. How did that come about?
Dr. Kat Ogle
There's a couple of things that inspired me to do it. And one of the most important roles that I neglected to mention when you asked me to do my self-interest, I'm also a mom and I'm a single mom. I have an excellent co-parenting relationship with my son's father. And we co parent very well together. But since March he's been out of school. So that has made things very interesting and dynamic. But to your question about how did I make the time, how did I fit it in and why was I inspired to do it? What I realized being an academician is how many eyes are on you? How many people are looking at you and seeing the way you model your practice and your interactions with people. And the number of meetings that I've had with students who felt like their lives were falling apart because they were having life.
Someone had got cancer, someone was having a heart attack, someone had a stroke and they had to figure out how to take care of them. Someone's family member lost their primary caretaker. So then someone has to manage medical school and taking care of their parent. They would come into my office and they would talk to me as if I was untouchable as if it was just so easy. And I just made it look easy and that I must not have ever struggled. And how do I keep it all together? And I realized after having some frank discussions with some of my students about where I've been, where I came from and what I've been through, the amount of stress relief that melted away from their face by knowing that in fact it wasn't easy. In fact, the route was 85 ways wrong before it went one way right. That it had multitude of barriers and challenges and speed bumps and detours. This wasn't easy. I just felt like by not sharing my path by not sharing some of my own personal struggles, I was being a little bit disingenuous. And I thought that it would be really helpful for them to feel connected because of common experiences and shared experiences.
Now. And I've asked this several guests before, especially physicians, as you're going along the path of becoming a physician, where you in close relationship with, obviously as a nurse, you might've been in close relationships with other physicians, but in terms of them, hey, it's tough as well. Because I remember my experience not necessarily with a lot of physicians, as I used to just think I must be the only person going through these kinds of trials and tribulations across this path. And I definitely remember when I first heard one of my mentors say no, I had to do this. I had to do that.
And I just remember seeing wow, okay. Oh, okay. So you can be tough and you can go through these issues and these hurdles and these obstacles and still make it to the other side. Because now I had at least an example that I can attach to a person who I've seen done it. Because at time we don't feel something can be done until it's done before us. And when you see someone say the road was tough. Toughest being light, it was tough. And I still got to where I going is definitely eye opening.
Did you have that experience as you're going through the ups and the downs? Knowing people went through that similar halfway before you?
Dr. Kat Ogle
I didn't really have anyone to share that experience with, until I got to medical school. Because, again, being the first person in my family to go to college, my family haven't had the experience of needing to do pre-med and work full time. And when I was doing, because my nursing degree wasn't associate degree, so it was just a two year degree become an RN. And so when I realized that I needed to go to medical school and I had to start from scratch essentially. And so I was working full time nights, weekends in the ICU, and then going to school Monday through Friday for four years.
And during that time, all of my classmates, it was good training for medical school. I have to say that it was really good training for medical school. It was like the ultimate marathon training for academics. But most of my classmates who were also premed were that typical high school, college medical school bound had the support of their families and had doctors in their families and things like that. And I was sort of going in blind. I was just like, oh, I'm going to be a doctor. Right. And once I hit medical school, my cadre of friends, many of us were nontraditional students. So we had other experiences and careers. So it's natural that we gravitate together. But when we were really struggling, we were struggling as a pack, and so that was helpful.
But up until medical school, I didn't really have an inclination for the challenges that I would meet. And I think the other thing is that as a nurse, I didn't granted, I did not work in an academic hospital. It was a private hospital, but I did not meet any supporting words from any of the physicians that work there except for one. And she was a black woman who was an anesthesiologist and she's a total bad-ass. She's the only one that encouraged me. All the other docs were like, you're just a nurse. Why do you want to be a doctor? They're not going to want you, I was like, oh, great. All of my friends not to sort of the other side of it, all of my friends who were worked in the ICU with me, they were fabulous. And they supported me along the way, and all of my outside of nursing friends in Vegas were also phenomenal and supporting me along the way, but I didn't have any Dr. Lee mentorship until I got into medical school.
Do you feel, I'm not say some consciously, do you feel having that lack of mentorship especially at a time where it would have been great to have some. Do you feel that also kind of helps drive your will to be in someone else's life whether it be peripherally or even directly of helping them along?
Dr. Kat Ogle
Absolutely without a doubt. I mean, there are a couple of medical student groups that I follow on Twitter and I've offered to be mentors for them. First gen med and black girl, white coat and a couple others because I want for them to have a little bit of support and a little bit of guidance and someone to bounce ideas off of.
I think what's so important, especially when we talk about having that level of support and having that guidance almost that shining light, especially in a time when darkness is there. Obviously, depending on literally can be dependent when you listen to this, hopefully you'll listen to this like a week, it comes out, but let's say you not. If you turn on a TV, a lot of issues are going on especially when it comes to black lives matter and, the murder George Floyd, and there's the murder of Breonna Taylor. All of these things that just keep happening over and over and over again. And I talk about it, especially as a physician because I know there's issues in a legal system that clearly needed to be corrected.
But I also know in the healthcare system we're kind of in a glass house as well when it comes to a lot of the racism and the prejudice that goes along with our system of care. So, we have this faction, White Coats for Black Lives Movement, and which is really sounding board to say, hey, we, as doctors recognize the importance of the black lives movement. And can you talk about your experience with that. And, I remember for those who know I'm at Wellington, we actually did a kneel in and I guess, but it was outside of hospital. It was me and about seven to 10 of our residents out there. And again, it was a lonely experience because it's difficult to get everyone involved by everyone you want like ministers and everything. But sometimes you have to go it alone. What has been your experience with being an ally White Coats for Black Lives Movement in general?
So I have to say that this is the first time in my life that I have actually began to recognize my privilege as a white person. I think I also was always the person who have black friends and I'm not a racist. And, support my friends, I hang out with them and I hang out with their kids and what I didn't realize until really in the last two months or so is I didn't see them. I didn't see my friends. I didn't see what they were feeling when they watched these horrific things happen on the news. I could just ignore it because that's my privilege. And that's what I have done for most of my life. But what I have come to realize now, and part of it also has to do with conversations that I've had with one of my sheroes, Dean Yolanda, Haywood, she has been sort of a pillar of strength and guidance for me through my career at GW. And I've sat down with her and she's currently the Dean for diversity and inclusion. And she's also been a Dean for faculty affairs and student affairs. She's told me, well, Kate, jokingly, obviously there's no contractual obligation here, but she's joked around with me that I could have her job when she left and I said, well, but I'm white.
I can't held responsible for diversity inclusion. I'm white. And she's like, it's not just about racial diversity now. That is what we're talking about right now. And I think the conversations that I've had with her over the years have sort of scratched the surface, but it wasn't really, until I started talking to my friends about what they were feeling and what they were seeing. I think one of the things that really hit me right in the gut was a friend of mine shared an article that was about when does my beautiful black boy become a threat.
She's got everything. (I think I remember seeing that) She's got a seven year old and I've got an eight year old and it just slapped me in the face that, I'm not going to need to have that conversation with my son. And I started to become horrified about this. And then I started to realize, as parents, there are a numerable things that we get feel guilty about that we feel stressed out about. That is not one of the things that I have to worry about. So this was like a way that I could connect with my friends who are physicians and listen to them just to start to open my own ears and hear their experiences. And when I started to do that, you can't stop. And so you start like reading things.
And so, I'm reading Ingram candies, how to be an anti-racist right now, and I've got stamped on my next list and then white fragility. It created this hunger in me, sort of lifelong learner. There are other things that I need to learn that I need to be a part of to make the world better and to make medical education better. Again, sort of taking it back to being an educator and being an academician. I need my students to know that I'm a safe place to come to. If they see racial inequity, if they see racial discrimination. But I need to show them and I can't just say it. I need to show them that I am here. I need to demonstrate with my actions. I need to demonstrate with my words, I I need to truly incorporate into my own curriculum for the courses that I teach, okay, what parts of this have potentially been demonstrative of institutional racism, how are the social determinants of health actually impacting this?
Back to our discussion, just a few minutes ago about students asking really tough questions, three years ago, one of my students who's in my medical education and leadership scholarly concentration track came to my workshop, vehemently angry and near tears, because she was so upset that the lecture that had been given in their practice of medicine course was talking about the sickle cell patient who's always black, the HIV patient who's always gay. The drug attitude's always black. And she's like, why are they teaching it this way? And to my blind eyes at that moment, I was like, look, I understand, you're really passionate about this. And I don't want to dissuade your passion. I followed that though with this is how we learned it. So I don't think there's any mal-intent. I truly don't think there's any, mal-intent behind the way this teacher is presenting this information. It's simply that we don't have the foundation to teach it any other way. So like whole unlearning process and the whole decolonization of our medical curriculum, it's going to take years. Right?
And I love that you say that because, it's so ingrained in our medical teaching. Even medical students know certain buzz words equals certain diagnosis. If I black woman who happens to have high breakout, they automatically start thinking about sarcoidosis. I have no clue why they are, but it's just one of those things that they just, boom, boom, boom. And then they match along. So I'm hundred percent agree we have to have foundational changes. So that black patient doesn't always happen to have sickle cell. So that homosexual patient doesn't always happen to have HIV, which is crazy when the numbers don't make..
And it's a heterosexual woman is more likely to have HIV than a gay man.
And it's a heterosexual woman is more likely to have HIV than a gay man.
But the steps are still written that way.
And it's difficult because you tell them to try to learn it. To be successful again, you're gonna run into unfortunately, standardized test questions that are going to play upon a bias and non-inclusive approach of how they train us. I definitely agree that it really does take a very active approach to have to unlearn so you can then turn around and teach. I love that very interesting especially from a perspective.
To your point about the knee on. Very shortly after George Floyd's death, Dean Haywood got together with our medical school Dean, who is our first female Dean, and they put together a statement out to the whole GW community about our dedication to anti-racism and arranged an entire school wide knee on. And I had my son that day, so I couldn't go to campus, but I did it on my front lawn with the camera. And I was there for eight minutes and 26 seconds.
And when you do that kneeling? Eight minutes sounds long and when you're kneeling, you realize like, wow. And I think that just that symbolism really makes that gesture even more profound because you get to minute two and you're like, Oh, okay. All right, I'm right. And then you get to minute four and you're like, Whoa. And then he gets a minute six and you're like, Oh, okay. Like you start twisting and try to stretch your back and then minute seven. And it just seems like it's going forever. And then you think in the back of your mind, like, wow, like this person had a someone's neck, someone's knee on their neck for this long. And I think that's what really drives home that the symbolism behind it.
I love that GW we're gonna just get behind us. This is what we're gonna do. Why do you feel that was important? Especially in this day and age, especially with medical education being a way not only do we have to promote just the aspect of being anti-racist. Which is sounds crazy, but I think, like you said, like it was around you, but until you actively had to do something, you started to realize. I actually have to be active in my approach, but also inclusive as well, which is something I think, especially in medicine. Again, like I said because I got plenty of family and military plaintiff, family and law enforcement, and yes, I know you hate the way I talk about police. But I know I'm talking from a glass house as well. I know medicine has its issues that it needs to address. Why do you think that level of importance, especially as your institution is standing behind you to say, not only do we have to be anti-racist, but we have to be inclusive as well. Why do you think especially those two factions were very important?
So, I think my role, at least in it is because there are implicit biases across the board. There is a very high likelihood that someone who looks like me is more likely to listen to me than they are to listen to someone who, as a person of color. And so I know that based on our own implicit biases, that I may be able to have a conversation which breaks down those walls a little bit, or at least fosters a thought provoking conversation. Because I think that there's never going to be a switch for the folks who do not currently see it as a problem who do not currently recognize systemic racism and institutionalized racism. There's not going to be a switch that flips them. But there might be certain things that, okay. Let's, let's look at this policy and figure out ways in which this policy might potentially lead to a lack of diversity.
Let's look at our hiring policies. Let's look and see how truly inclusive we are. We have inclusivity and diversity listed on our website, but let's actually look at the landscape of the people that are in our institution. And let's say, have we put our money where our mouth is? And if we are asking people to do things, to build up the reputation of our institution, are we paying for their time? Are we valuing their time? And are there opportunities that are being given to a certain group that are not being equally provided to another group? And what are we doing for those of us who are in positions of leadership? What are we doing to further lift other people up to our level and promote them even beyond us, that's where the inclusion story comes in. I'm still learning about organizational structure and organizational design. I don't know anything about writing policy.
I'm not a policy expert, but I have friends who are, and I think that that's the other thing is there's not one person's going to solve this problem. This has to be an interdisciplinary, cross cultural change. You're going to have to involve everybody at every level, the people that are at the front door, checking IDs and the people that are answering the phones for you and the people that are cleaning your bathrooms for you. Like, everybody has to be part of this conversation. And everybody, I mean, you just have to demonstrate that you value people regardless of what they look like or where they come from. You have to value each person and where they came from.
And what I love, especially obviously the position that we're in being in graduate medical education. Because this is something I grappled with really constantly just that onus of really having to actively think about it. Like our program we have 18 medical residents total of so six every year. When I look across the landscape of people who are applying to the program and where they're coming from and you see the same similar approaches and understand. You see the same type of people are applying and what am I doing to reach out to population that I would like, Like this year I was a kind of static. This year we actually matched six women.
All six spots, all six women, which was a secret goal of mine. Because when I came in the ratio was 12 and six are no, I think it was like 13 and five. And I was like, how is a woman going to feel this is a part of their residency as well, if they can't look out and see a lot more people that look like them, and that standpoint. So, it was definitely have to be a very active approach like you and I would post the women's groups. And I would say, hey, guys, think about this program. And especially, because I already know I'm behind the eight ball because all of our faculty happened to be men. I'm just looking around and I'm seeing, things that like, if I was a woman would this be the environment that I would want to be in? And if it's not, what can I do to help it be that way. So in your state, especially in graduate medical education where you're dealing with medical students and residents, and how was that approach, how do you try to take some of those practices into that approach and just what you're doing on a day to day basis?
So I think it's probably most pertinent for residency recruitment, because I don't do interviews for med school recruitment for med school admissions, but I do interviews for our residency recruitment. And I think for us in particular, we probably need to take a critical look at how we review the applications ahead of time. Because when you have a certain number of applications that come in, a lot of times we create these strata, okay, you had this board score and you had this grades, then you go into this pile. If you didn't get this board score and this grade, then you go into this pile. But what has become more clear to me recently is that just because you didn't get a board score a certain way, does not necessarily mean that you are not a competitive applicant. I know I took the MCAT twice and I paid for a Kaplan course because I was working full time as a nurse and I could afford it. But not everybody has that opportunity. And there are in many cases, life experiences, which are much more informative and much more valuable to your life as a physician than the performance you had on a standardized examination.
Lunch and Learn community, you can't see me but I've been shaking my head probably five minutes. Because I'm like, oh yes. Oh yes. Oh yes.
So I think there needs to, again it's a cultural thing. So you have to look at everybody who's involved in residency recruitment and spread the love, the reviewing applications, shouldn't just be one or two people's job. It you can spread the love a little bit, but we should be taking a critical look at other things that are adding value to EQ. Where where's the EQ score on the application? There isn't one. Well, because we don't have a good way to measure it, but this is the kind of thing that when you were 13, you got a job at the corner Deli because you had to help pay the bills for your house, that your family could survive. And then while you're in school, you were also waitressing.
And then while you were, doing this, you were also, but you don't have any research where you don't have any research because your family was trying to survive and you have a better. And again, this goes this supports the research out there that demonstrates the folks who come from lower socioeconomic background are much more in tune to their patients' needs in primary care, who are also in those environments. What does someone not to disparage anyone with an Ivy league education, but what does someone who is an eighth generation IV league educator know about living in poverty. They may feel they may be the most empathic person. They may be a phenomenal physician with tremendous amount of knowledge, and they may have all the fields and really be able to connect with their patients. There are some things you cannot connect on if you have not lived that experience.
I love it. And it's so true because just having that connection there and having that will to go outside of the quote unquote, norm AKA, the boys scores, AKA the fancy letter rag, AKA even the fancy medical school being able to go outside of that and really look at, your future physician as a whole, not only makes I think personally, a better person, but it really will make your program a better program. Just to have that diversity across the board and level of experience in life, level of experience and knowledge, just because it's there. Because once you're an intern, I don't care where you went to for medical school, you don't know much. That I don't care what your board score was. The second intern day, one test round, you realize oh, I'm in for it.
I always say that first week of intern, let's say, I'll even give him the first week. That first month of internship is always a very humbling experience for many who come through because they realize this is the real work is really starting. What I was doing was preparing me to get here, but now I gotta get to it. So, 100% agree. Just the fundamental aspect of how we select, who we select. And I do agree. We were definitely missing the life experience associated with our future physicians, because all we're doing is looking at these numbers that are skewed in so many ways. Some people are better test takers. Some people can afford the multiple, review courses before they get to actually take the tests.
So many people don't have to deal with the anxiety of. if I miss this one or two questions. Does my family right now eats, those are real life situations that medical students, pre-medical students have to face. Even residents they have to face. If I don't do well on this test my whole career trajectory changes in their mind. Usually in their mind, they think if I don't answer this one question correctly, all of a sudden I don't become blank. So, I definitely agree having to really take a 360 look from the top down and seeing what we're doing and seeing what we can change is really paramount to get into where we need to get to.
I mean, it was not for me as much for my medical school application, but for college. I had that scenario where I was in high school and because of things going on at home, I bombed my first ACT and I was not going to be able to get into college. And I remember going to my parents in tears, knowing what it was to ask them for another $200 to pay for that test. And this was in 1993, you know, $200 was a lot of money back then. And I mean, for some families, even today $200 is a lot of money. The pain in my heart when I had to go ask my family for that, and just deal with the ramifications of needing to do that. Those are the kinds of things that our students who are coming from lower socioeconomic backgrounds and underrepresented minorities. That's what they're seeing. That's what they're feeling.
I love it. Before. First of all, I just want to thank you for such an amazing conversation. Definitely needs to be had on all fronts and thank you for making the leap and becoming an author. And allowing us to go and open your world up. Because I know that's a very tough thing to do. open up the really strangers. So, we definitely appreciate that aspect and you will have it. If I had to take one thing away as a reader. When I read your chapter, if I had to take one thing away from it, what do you think that would be your one thing for one goal that you'd want the reader to take away from and be able to carry it, go to the next level of wherever they need to do?
I think that the one thing that I would want people to take away is that your life experiences don't define you and good, bad, or ugly, those things don't define you. And you should not be ashamed of the path that you had to take to get where you are, because you're strong and you're beautiful. You can do whatever you want.
I love it. Before I let you go, what's next for you, So obviously, you're accomplish author now. Clearly have an amazing cemented role in just graduate medical education, but what's next for you? and it's so funny. I love that you talked about having to be with your child since March. My wife with our three kids who have been here as well too. I definitely, sometimes, because I could imagine just that transition while still having to do everything that you're just doing on an amazing front. So first of all, thank you for doing that, Shout out to you. If you haven't gotten any kudos for that, because that is not easy transition.
What's next? What do we have planned? What could we look for? Because again, I'm excited. And like I said, just being fellow academician, is that, am I pronouncing it right? So, I definitely want to make sure I'm going to connect with you, make sure I'm doing well. And if anything I can do or you can do to help us out, definitely reach out. What's you got plan?
I think the next big thing on my goal list is I'm going up for promotion in December. So I hope to go from an assistant professor to an associate professor. And, last September I had the opportunity to speak at a national meeting. Feminism is an organization of women in emergency medicine and really it's become a cross specialty, phenomenon talking about gender equity and the like, but that experience. And again, it was me similar to the book. It was sharing a very personal story of my upbringing that experience was transformative for me, because what I would really love to do is I would love to get on a speaking circuit and be able to share my stories in different ways. Because there's layers to this onion. I have a lot of layers of, the two chapters that are in the book that's only scratching. There's lots from. And again, my son's father and I have a beautiful co-parenting relationship. Now, it has taken years to develop that, and there's stories behind that as well and even stories about what happened in medical school. I would just want to talk to people and I want to hear their stories too.
Just from listening to you, ain't talking to you for this past hour. I think you would be amazing. Because you seem so very calm, so very collective and it can be. I don't know if you guys realize it a lot of times I don't prep, the guests, right? They just turn on and I just start firing questions. I just love like how calm and poised you are. I can easily see on the stage killing it. And of course, unfortunately, especially you being in an emergency medicine, me being a hospital position with the Corona virus and everything stopping conferences internationally when they do open back up, I'm in Florida.
So, I'm pretty sure you could see the news. We're not doing very good as far as where it masks. But I hope I do definitely send wishes and prayers for you on that stage. So I could definitely see you what a story that you could definitely motivate and that's really the thing about speaking is there's so many in the crowd that we don't even realize that, we know we don't even. When I do the podcast, I talk and talk and I'm always shocked when someone says, Oh, Hey, I listened to your podcast. We listen to my partner. I guess it's just one of those things where it just hits you. And when you have a story, like yours, I know that's gonna resonate with someone who's then going to take the Baton.
And who's then going to get up right after they fall. Then I realized, I know Dr. Ogle is able to get through. What she was able to get through. I need to be able to keep on going. So definitely we will, especially for our Lunch and Community, we're definitely going to send wishes and prayers to make sure we get you on that stage. Whenever the coronavirus allows us to get you on that stage. What can people could work with? We obviously work with people, pick up the book, where can people, if they want to follow you, especially if they're not in the DC area.
So you can get the book at thechroniclesofwomeninwhitecoats.com. And we are a self-published group. So the 10 authors got together and put in a bit of a personal investment from each of us in order to be able to publish this book. And so when you go to the website, you can choose the author that you'd like to support. And I think you're, interviewing some of our other co-authors.
I interviewed a couple of them. In fact, I interviewed Dr. Robbins. I forget her episode number. And I interviewed Dr. Kim, probably in the 140’s. I just remember them groups now, I guess that's how we got to it. I think I already interviewed Dr. Maxwell and I think I got like two more. So yes, I'm so definitely excited. And I didn't say this on Dr. Maxwell's interview, but I am actually going to be supporting the Women's a White Coat. I'm going to be giving 10 books away to our lovely listeners who need to be enlightened, need to read these stories, need to be able to get some…
Because like I said, I understand as a man. I may not be able, I could say stuff all day. But if you're a woman, maybe you're not necessarily gonna hear it like I want you to hear it. So, I want to make sure you get access to these amazing women who have an amazing story to tell and any physician who has a story to tell. And who isn't scared to tell it. Because again, I've said it before, let's you making me, you know, me, I think one of our services we do in medicine as physicians is we keep our story to ourselves and we don't allow the premed who's going through that similar trial to see. Oh, there's that example I needed to keep going right there.
So like I love physicians who are able to put their heart on their sleeve and say Hey world, here I am. Hear me where I'm ready. I'm ready to take whatever you're going to get me. Because I know I'm going to touch somebody else. So I didn't say it on Dr. Maxwell's, and we will definitely make sure we are going to be supporting the ladies and these women, to make sure we get the story out to where it needs to get to.
Awesome. As far as where people can get a hold of me on social media, you guys can follow me on Twitter. I am dr.kittykat, both with a K. Kitty with a K and Kat with a K, dr.kittykat. I made that handle like 10 years ago.
Yes. Unless you learn, you need, you remember the links will be in the show notes. So you don't have to like write it down anywhere, especially if you're driving or something. I will put the links in the show notes, go directly to a tour to follow it. So I'm going to write what I'm doing as interview. I'm going to follow her Twitter as well, too. So thank you again for such an amazing word, such an amazing story. Helping us really enlightened with everything that's going on and we wish you nothing but success with the book, with the speaking, with everything that you got going. I did the active addition to GME stuff. Like all of it. I wish you success in all of it.
Thank you so much, Dr. Berry, and you stay safe down there in Florida with the coronavirus. Thank you so much for having me.
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