Photo courtesy of The Buffalo Chronicle.

Being a physician is hard. I often choose to focus on the more rewarding aspects of my job. I find it satisfying to provide diverse and skillful care. There is privilege in experiencing glimpses of the most vulnerable parts of my patients’ lives. Their stories of joy, pain and suffering are a humbling reminder of the beauty and fragility of human life. I’d like to explore storytelling as an element of humanism in medicine. …

Protesters gather in Seattle, WA. Image reposted from The Chronicle

Dear [insert name here],

I have found so much comfort from many of your texts, emails, and phone calls. Thank you. I am overwhelmed with gratitude by your thoughtfulness and I often just cry reading your messages. Specifically, to my white friends and family who have allowed these visible acts of violence to mobilize their empathy into actionable solidarity, again, I thank you. The grief and exhaustion I feel because of the recent murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor are indescribable. I can’t sleep. I can’t focus and I couldn’t find the words, until now.

For myself…

Farmworker Yakima, WA. Photo credit: NPR

It is substantially easier to talk about racial disparities in America than it is to actually fix them. We’ve heard of the disproportionate effect COVID-19 has on black communities in many U.S. urban cities like Chicago, Philadelphia and New Orleans. In Chicago, African-Americans account for “more than half of those who have tested positive and 72 percent of virus-related fatalities, even though they make up a little less than a third of the population.” These stories of black lives no doubt reflect larger inequities of health care access, historical mistrust of health institutions and socio-economic gaps. However, this sounding of…

Image: The Babylon Bee

Is it even a thing to still use the term “woke”? Sam Sanders argues that “the muddling of the definition of woke is really what killed it” in his opinion piece entitled “It’s Time to Put Woke To Sleep.” He explains that woke came to represent a “shorthand for a worldview that values black lives” specifically contextualized by the social injustice of police brutality that fueled the Black Lives Matter movement. However, over the years since it’s resurgence, it has become a “buzzword” overused, often out of context, by well-meaning white liberals, corporations, and memes. While most would agree that…

Photo credit: African American Historical Photo Gallery

It was a warm and humid fourth of July afternoon. I was twelve and carefree, sporting festive white shorts with a blue and red sequin tank to match. I knew I was cute hanging off of the monkey bars. Racing neighborhood boys and girls up the steps of a towering jungle gym. I played and played until finally I went inside only to find a huge bloodstain on the back of my white shorts. I was shocked that it was in fact coming from my vagina. I screamed from the bathroom only to have my sisters burst into the room…

Thelben Mullett, M.D.

Dr. Mullett is a wife, storyteller and champion for social justice. She lives in Seattle, WA.

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