I remember sitting in my college dorm room stunned after my interview to become a student orientation leader. During the interview, I was asked the all-too-common question, “So tell me about yourself.” I couldn’t understand why it was so hard to formulate an answer. As I sat in my dorm room, I realized up until that point, I have been so focused on being the perfect medical school candidate that I forgot who I was. I forgot what made me happy. That was the turning point and when I became an advocate for self-care and wellness. No longer do I feel guilty about engaging in activities that bring me joy outside of medicine. I believe that during the journey to become a physician, there will be times when we have to be selfish. Yes, I said selfish! When we put our mental and physical health first, we achieve the highest form of self-care and avoid burnout. My form of self-care involves discovering a new brunch spot with friends or trying out new recipes or even having a self-spa day with some old school R&B music to set the mood. Self- care not only improved my mental and physical health, but it allowed me to rediscover who Jennifer is outside of medicine.
”#withoutthewhitecoat I am a self-care advocate, self-proclaimed chef, 90’s music lover, laughter, sister, friend but most importantly, I am a black woman who is unapologetically striving for greatness.