I recently had the pleasure of attending a women in leadership event where Vivian W. Pinn, MD was the keynote speaker. If you are unfamiliar with Dr. Pinn, here are a few of the highlights:
- Only African American and woman in her class to graduate from the University of Virginia School of Medicine (1967)
- In 1966 told women do not become chairmen of pathology departments
- 1st African American woman to chair an academic pathology department in the US (3rd woman in US), at Howard University College of Medicine (1982)
- 1st Full time director of the Office of Research on Women’s health at the National Institutes of Health (1991)
- 1st African American woman elected to Modern Healthcare’s Hall of Fame
- Senior Scientist Emerita, NIH Fogarty International Center
- Former President of the National Medical Association
- Medical education building at University of Virginia named for her
“I really have a problem with those who believe they’ve gotten where they are only because of who they are or what they’ve done. Because I know what a difference having someone to just give you advice, or to just be there for you, or to just be able to hear you talk if you have a problem, and maybe help you think through it yourself. What a difference that can make in terms of personal development and professional development.” Vivian W. Pinn, MD
Dr. Pinn is an extremely accomplished woman, a woman who paved the path and opened doors for many who may not know her name, her accomplishments and the impact she has had on their ability to pursue their dreams. I can only imagine the amount of courage required to integrate a medical school by being the only woman and African American in a class in the 60s. This was only 50 years ago, we have loved ones from this generation. This is not the distant past.
I love that Dr. Pinn touches on the importance of collaboration, mentorship, creating a sacred circle and to ask for help when you need it. No one, absolutely no one accomplishes anything on their own. We each serve as students and teachers along our journey and it’s important to realize that everyone has something to teach us, even if it is how to become better by using our voice, establishing healthy boundaries, developing effective communication and conflict resolution skills. Perhaps others appear (or we appear) to encourage to dream bigger, how to forgive, to #heal, to let go, to become tenacious, to be patient, gentle, strong, how to #love, trust or how to embrace the silent moments in our life. Perhaps the lesson in heartbreak is how to heal, trust and love again. Perhaps the lesson in a loss (or a no) is to redirect or to provide the time to reassess, revamp, renew. Maybe the ‘silent moments’ are a gift from time, providing the space to delve deeper within to become acquainted with the depths of self.
ValentinesDay is right around the corner and for some this is an exciting time to #celebrate various forms of love. For others, this holiday touches an emotional wound due to a loss or absence. Therapy is a beautiful gift you can offer yourself (or others) at any time of the year and can serve as or become a part of your sacred healing circle; a place where you are safe to be vulnerable. We would be honored to accompany you on your journey. Walk lightly and be gentle. – Misha N. Granado, MPH, MS