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MAS Governing Council Inspirations

Below you will have the chance to find out what inspires our MAS Governing Council members, as well as their thoughts for the future and words of advice.

Minority Affairs Section Governing Council Members

Dionne Hart, MD, Chair

Dionne Hart, MD, Chair

Who are your role models that shaped or inspired you and your work?

I was raised in a single parent household. It was just my father and I. He was a very quiet conservative man who seldom spoke. I learned to watch his behaviors closely to deduce information about his thoughts from a very early age. He didn't trust sitters so I accompanied him to most activities including his doctor's appointments.

My father had poorly controlled hypertension so he had regular doctor visits. He worked in a factory but on appointment days he always wore a suit. He would make meticulous notes during these appointments and would openly discuss his health. In turn, his physician would address each of concern until my father clearly demonstrated understanding. It wasn't lost on me that my father, the most important person in my life, perceived his physician to be a very important person. I wanted to be someone that made others feel comfortable about their worries and gave them important advice.

The relationship between my father and his physician shaped my future goals and still influences my professional life. Now a psychiatrist, I still watch others for clues about their moods and thoughts. I never rush anyone during a visit and I always encourage note taking. Both were major role models in my life although one probably never knew- he was just being a good doctor.

What do you see for the future for Minority Affairs Section?

I envision the minority affairs section as a vital force in the AMA as the American population becomes more diverse. I envision the MAS will serve as the impetus for the elimination of health care disparities and the leading advocacy body addressing social determinants of health that impact health care access and outcomes.

What words or ideas would you share with a young minority physician to help them in medicine today?

To young physicians, There will be difficult colleagues, difficult patients, and difficult days but they will be greatly outnumbered by the moments when you feel so incredibly fortunate to have the opportunity to positively impact someone's life - sometimes by just simply being there and sometimes because someone is observing you.

Adriann W. Begay, MD, Vice Chair

Adriann W. Begay, MD, Vice Chair

Who are your role models that shaped or inspired you and your work?

My mother, Anna Mae Begay, is my most instrumental role model; and 2) Dr. Taylor McKenzie, the first Navajo physician is the next individual who showed me that I could be a physician.

What do you see for the future for Minority Affairs Section?

I see the MAS as being the lead voice for minority health care & the leader for minority patients, minority med student/residents, and minority physicians. I see the BOT looking at our group for counsel on minority healthcare issues (i.e. legislation, health policy, etc). I would like to see other sections/councils to turn to the MAS for review, for consult, for opinion and/or for co-sponsorship on resolutions that involve minority health care issues.

What words or ideas would you share with a young minority physician to help them in medicine today?

My words to young minority physicians, especially, AI/AN's is although we have a turbulent history with western civilization; we must learn from our past, we must move forward to make life better for our younger generations; and we must live today with commitment to our dreams & our goals. Speaking with young physicians or even young students, I remind them of the need for hard work and perseverance in never giving up.

Frank Clark, MD

Frank Clark, MD

Who are your role models that shaped or inspired you and your work?

The number one person that comes to mind is my mother. She has always encouraged me to be remain resilient despite the adversities of life. Her positive attitude remains contagious. She embodies the folllowing characteristics of what a role model should exemplify: integrity, compassion, leadership, and perseverance. Her words of inspiration and wisdom are comforting and refreshing. I have often referred to her as my "faithful fan."

What do you see for the future for Minority Affairs Section?

The need to increase diversity among the physician workforce continues to be a recurrent theme. One of the main goals/objectives of the Minority Affairs Section (MAS) is to increase the number of underrepresented minority medical students and physicians. The most critical issue related to our group's work is to eliminate health care disparities. The MAS has the opportunity to be the "pioneers of change" in the field of health care. This has to start at grass roots level (i.e. doctors back to school day program and other forms of mentorship). The future of our section appears bright. We now have a Twitter account!

What words or ideas would you share with a young minority physician to help them in medicine today?

  • Always do your best.
  • Do not be afraid to take risks.
  • Mentor a youth in your community.
  • Continue to advocate for your patients.
  • Maintain a healthy balance between your professional and personal life.
  • Remember to smile even when you encounter the "storms" of life.

 

Carlos Corral, MD

Carlos Corral, MD

Who are your role models that shaped or inspired you and your work?

My role models traverse several important events in my life. Following my father's untimely death when my twin sister and I were 7 years old, things changed significantly for our family. We had lived on a ranch in West Texas and following his death, we were evicted from the ranch to start a new and challenging life ahead. My oldest sister, Marie, along with our mother, become the impetus and encouragement to study diligently and excel in our education. Although my sister, Marie, prepared us well and did not pursue a career as a physician, she instilled in us a strong sense of perseverance, commitment and dedication for higher education. Subsequently, both my twin sister and I became physicians.

Following my father's death, we spent many summers with our grandparents on their farm and small village. My grandmother was the village's medical caretaker being instructed and guided by a physician who would visit occasionally. Through her. we experienced our first hand delivery of primary care which included births, antibiotic treatments for infections, and care for many other ailments. Her devotion, compassion, and knowledge in medical diseases and treatments impressed us at a young age and provided an excellent role model for medicine.

My next role model would have a long-life impact on my interest in medicine. During the first two summers of my college years, I had the remarkable opportunity to attend a surgical research program in Houston, Texas under the direction and tutelage of the late, renown heart surgeon, Dr. Michael DeBakey.

It was through Dr. DeBakey that solidified my interest in medicine and a career in cardiovascular surgery. His devotion to top-notch medical care, his unrelenting quest for excellence in medicine, and his commitment to educate young students, medical students, residents and Fellows, carries a strong weight of influence within me to this day of a star role model in medicine.

Many other role models followed with each one having an important role across my career as a physician, community leader, father, and overall just a good human being trying to provide the best of medical care for my fellow human beings, community and country. And of course, my strong devotion and faith in an ever-loving God to persevere through life's challenges and recognition of all of it's blessings.

What do you see for the future for Minority Affairs Section?

The future of the Minority Affairs Section is in the ability and foresight of its present Governing Board and members to expand its presence, its mission, and its influence on the young and growing minority physicians and their respective minority communities.

The MAS must continue to forge and disseminate its pledge and commitment to increasing the number of minority physicians who will provide health care to underserved communities as well as be the voice of the minority communities who lack adequate medical attention. The MAS will serve as the guiding light and beacon for future minority physicians to carry forward its mission of eradicating health disparities and providing the necessary leadership for health care to minority communities in need.

What words or ideas would you share with a young minority physician to help them in medicine today?

Young minority physicians must understand, be informed and be educated on all past and current health care issues that have plagued minority communities for many years. They need to partake in the medical, social, and political issues and problems within our current health care system in order to effectively find solutions to the disparities and challenges that prevent adequate health care for the many underserved minority populations. They must learn and be taught early on in their medical careers to carry the banner of reaching out to those who are in dire medical need and to those future generations of minorities.

Kevin Goodluck, MD

Kevin Goodluck, MD

Who are your role models that shaped or inspired you and your work?

My parents have influenced me. My mother was an Indian Health Service Nurse for 35 years, who worked in my community of Shiprock, New Mexico. She allowed me to see the value of healthcare for my tribe. My father trained in traditional medicine that showed me the value and compassion of gentle healing using prayer and song. My own private practice is strong because of what I have learned from my parents.

What do you see for the future for Minority Affairs Section?

The MAS is growing in members and ideas. I get the welcoming and inviting feeling now from the leadership of AMA, the BOT and the other sections. As our population changes, the MAS will be a positive force to address minority health care disparities. Success will be achieved by the inclusion of ideas and views from the MAS as we all work together.

What words or ideas would you share with a young minority physician to help them in medicine today?

I see all the young physicians as my heroes. These individuals are all smart, brave, and will influence our future. As you develop, challenges will arise as you study medicine. Remember, you can always pull knowledge from your mentors who support you. The communities you will care for will be fortunate because of you, the young physician. All the best to you, Dr. Goodluck.

Niva Lubin-Johnson, MD

Niva Lubin-Johnson, MD

Who are your role models that shaped or inspired you and your work?

I was inspired by my grandmother who was an LPN and a single mother who raised my mom who became a grade school principal with 2 Masters degrees.

What do you see for the future for Minority Affairs Section?

The future of the MAS is to continue to educate all physicians of issues and concerns of minority patients and physicians; support, encouragement, and education for students and post-graduates, and a resource for talent and information for our AMA.

What words or ideas would you share with a young minority physician to help them in medicine today?

I would encourage minority physicians or students to stay focused on providing the best quality care to those of our communities, stay connected to their community in some way even if they don't practice, train or live there by volunteering or being of service.

Osamuede Osemwota

Osamuede Osemwota

Who are your role models that shaped or inspired you and your work?

Dr. Regina Benjamin has created a legacy of social consciousness by implementing core human principles in the field of medicine that today drive us to care for our fellow man. As a current medical student at UAB School of Medicine, Dr. Benjamin's alma mater, I often hear of her commitment and leadership in the field of medicine and the humbling story of her clinic in the rural Alabama town of Bayou La Batre, which she fought hard to rebuild after Hurricane Katrina. Currently, she is launching a national campaign for a healthier America because she values the opportunities that being healthy can bring — increased happiness and self-esteem, occupational stability, and, most importantly, longer life. Her contributions relate a narrative relevant to all physicians who seek to eliminate healthcare disparities. Her influence will continue to inspire me to be an advocate for my patients and to work toward health equity as a physician.

What do you see for the future for Minority Affairs Section?

I would like to see the goals of MAS fully met - a future where healthcare disparities are non-existent and concerns of minority patients, physicians, and physicians-in-training are blended into the national narrative. I see MAS as an entity that exists to welcome all groups who identify with our mission. Hopefully our policy efforts and programming like the Physician Interview Project and Doctors Back to School program will be so widely embraced that the need for a section to address these issues will not be a necessity, but social conscious driven choice.

What words or ideas would you share with a young minority physician to help them in medicine today?

You are not alone. The decision and the trajectory to becoming a physician is not an easy route. Be encouraged by your loved ones and colleagues, but also be a source of encouragement to others. For medical students: Stay focused on your ultimate goal and find pleasure in learning the intricacies of the human body and how to provide optimal care. However, remember to make time for activities and relationships outside of your medical school environment. Lastly, it is an honor and a privilege to serve your community in the capacity of a physician - don't ever forget that.

Diana Ramos, MD, MPH, FACOG

Diana Ramos, MD, MPH, FACOG

Who are your role models that shaped or inspired you and your work?

My mother is my biggest role model. She taught me that nothing is impossible. You just have to keep trying. She is my biggest supporter and cheerleader. Even now, when I'm faced with a challenging situation, she may not know anything about healthcare but she knows about caring and always seems to find the right words to encourage and comfort me.

What do you see for the future for Minority Affairs Section?

The future for the MAS is very bright. We are a wealth of information and leadership not only for the AMA but for the patients we care for. The MAS represent the diversity that is expanding in our country. As healthcare is evolving, the realization that improving health means eliminating healthcare disparities by addressing both access and the social determinants of health the MAS is poised to work with the AMA to help improve the healthcare of our country.

What words or ideas would you share with a young minority physician to help them in medicine today?

Pearls that I would share with anyone that has a dream – whether it's a doctor, teacher, etc. is to never stop dreaming. When you truly believe in your dreams, make a plan to make them real and enjoy the ride along the way. Write down what you want your life to be like from family, social, professionally etc and work backwards to set a road map. Surround yourself by mentors and people who believe in you, because you will have times when you think you're on the wrong path. Never stop believing.

Leonard Weather, Jr., MD, R.PH

Leonard Weather, Jr., MD, R.PH

Who are your role models that shaped or inspired you and your work?

My Father, mother, uncle, teacher, minister, organic chemistry professor

What do you see for the future for Minority Affairs Section?

Excellent!, because of it's diversity, desire to highlight issues related to minorities and concern to address them.

What words or ideas would you share with a young minority physician to help them in medicine today?

Plan, persistence, determination, diligence and excellence.