Updated: May 30, 2022
An anecdotal piece
Happy Black History Month.
I recently requested a pelvic exam to ensure that my period pain was not caused by any secondary issues (endometriosis, fibroids, etc.). It wasn’t an easy decision to make, in fact it was my mom that encouraged me to do it.
As a teenager I was in and out of the doctors office for different joint pains, and my overall experience made me very weary of going to see a doctor. On top of that, my first memory of an Obstetrician Gynecologist (OB-GYN) was not good. The session felt rushed and I was not treated properly.
I braced myself for a situation where I would have to be assertive in advocating for my health and ask questions even if I felt I was being rushed.
But I was pleasantly surprised with how well my visit went.
The nurse and the OB-GYN made me feel comfortable and heard, and it was icing on the cake getting treated by two African-American women (something I don't think I've ever experienced before).
I want to make it clear that regardless of skin color or cultural background, what matters is a person's character. I’ve had good experiences with nurses and doctors that are not the same ethnicity or gender as me.
However, it was a special feeling to see a woman, African-American doctor, and I wanted to share my experience in the spirit of Black History Month.
You were born with the skin color you have for a reason. Your cultural and ethnic background and even the place you live was all done on purpose. I believe that God uses this so we can help others.
The women I met today may never know how much this doctor's visit meant to me. I should have told them!
I felt free to ask as many questions as needed, and even though I absolutely despise (I know that’s a strong feeling, but I don’t know how else to describe it) pap smears, I’m grateful my doctor walked me through that sensitive experience.
I didn’t end up getting a pelvic exam (only the pap smear) because based on my symptoms the OB-GYN ruled it as primary dysmenorrhea, but it was definitely a doctor’s visit that I feel good about.
Today I want to celebrate these two women who had a huge impact on my recent doctor's visit. And thank you to every African-American doctor out there that treats their patients well.
Experiences like this make me more open to visiting a doctor when I’m in need.
Disclaimer: Amber’s Care should not replace medical advice. If you have questions about the following statements, please consult a doctor.