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    Dream with Ambition

    by Ngozi Osuagwu, MD | November 8th, 2020

    Dream with Ambition

    It has been a long week waiting to find out who would be the next President and Vice-President of the United States.  I literally stopped watching television. I figured when the final decision was made, someone would call me. On Saturday, I was on my 3-mile walk with my husband when I got a text message from my girlfriend – a picture of Kamala Harris with the caption Madame Vice President.  I rushed home, turned on the television – Joe Biden will be the 46th President and Kamala Harris will be the Vice President. 

    I waited anxiously to listen to Kamala Harris’s speech. How could I apply it to my health and the health of my sisters?  Below are excerpts from her speech and I have highlighted the parts that resonated with me and provided my interpretation.

    …So Congressman John Lewis before his passing wrote; Democracy is not a state. It is an act.” And what he meant was that America’s democracy is not guaranteed. It is only as strong as our willingness to fight for it, to guard it and never take it for granted. And protecting our democracy takes struggle. It takes sacrifice. But there is joy in it, and there is progress. Because we the people have the power to build a better future.

    My interpretation – When it comes to our health and the health of those that we love, we have to take action. We cannot take it for granted. We have to be proactive to have a better future.

    …But while I may be the first woman in this office, I will not be the last, because every little girl watching tonight sees that this is a country of possibilities. And to the children of our country, regardless of your gender, our country has sent you a clear message: Dream with ambition, lead with conviction, and see yourselves in a way that others may not, simply because they’ve never seen it before, but know that we will applaud you every step of the way.

    My interpretation – We have the ability to change the narratives for future generations. For example, although black women are 3 times more likely to die in childbirth than white women, the maternal death rate in the United States is worse than any other industrialized country. Our aim is to make sure that no mother dies giving birth to a child.  Our goal should be better health for all women. Diseases that can be prevented should be prevented for all women.

    Because now is when the real work begins. The Hard work. The Necessary work. The Good work. The essential work to save lives and beat the pandemic. To rebuild our economy so it works for working people. To root out systemic racism in our justice system and society. To combat the climate crisis. To unite our country and heal the soul of our nation.

    My interpretation – Health care should be a right. Every person in the United States should have access to high quality health care regardless of what makes us different. It will not be easy. It will require hard work. It will require us doing it together.

    Four years ago, the title of my blog was The Sun Will Rise in the Morning and I am so happy that not only does it rise each morning, but when we finally go to bed each night we can all dream with ambition and when we wake up, we can all lead with conviction.   

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    With her trademark wit and straightforward communication, Dr. Osuagwu continues to dole out valuable medical advice using the letter form and addressing women’s health conditions and issues in a method that was praised for its innovative approach in her earlier award-winning book, Letters to My Sisters: Plain Truths and Straightforward Advice from a Gynecologist. In this book, each letter is paired with reference sources and statistics about the condition that is the subject of the letter.

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    The book discusses common gynecological and women’s health issues in a series of witty and entertaining letters. These letters, all educational, offer suggestions on what approaches to take in tackling the medical problems that typically bring women to an ob/gynecologist. The letters are spiced with art, a poem and quotes. Although its emphasis is on gynecology and women’s health, it touches on some other medical issues that make women visit their doctors.

    The second half of the book briefly discusses the most common gynecological conditions and also provides an overview of sexually transmitted infections. A list of annotated websites dealing with the different topics in the book is provided for the reader who wants to pursue each subject in depth.

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