I Found A Black OBGYN
Why did it take me so long to find a black woman to handle my health needs? Why had I denied myself good health care for so long? Maybe I was just used to my questions and concerns being dismissed and I began to accept that this was just how things were. As as long as something wasn’t immediately wrong with me, everything was okay.
Recently, I learned that it wasn’t okay, and my concerns when it came to my health were important and deserved to be heard. I was starting to have bad menstrual cycles and wanted answers as to why. After being passed over to a nurse practitioner for my last annual exam at my previous doctor’s office, I decided it was time to find a black woman or a woman of color to handle my health needs. I recently found her and my whole world has changed. I owed it to myself in being proactive in finding another doctor.
I remember when I first heard the story about Judge Hatchett’s son, Charles Johnson, and how he lost his wife in 2016 after she gave birth to their second son. He described how healthy she was and how the doctors didn’t seem to be in much of rush when he knew something was wrong. 12 hours later, his wife died from severe blood loss, something that could have been prevented had the doctors taken her condition seriously. His story broke my heart, but it gave me a much needed push to do some research. During that time, I found out that black women are more likely to die during child birth than white women because doctors tend to ignore health issues of black women. The numbers are alarming.
Do doctors just assume that we are strong enough to overcome our troubles? Why wouldn’t they take us seriously in a time of emergency? These are questions I think about over and over again as more black celebrities come forward with their own stories of difficult childbirth. Serena, Beyonce, and recently Remy Ma have all been outspoken about how they struggled in giving birth. Serena had to insist that her doctor check her for blood clots after feeling something was wrong and Beyonce had to have an emergency C-section after dealing with toxemia which put her life in danger. Remy Ma had to be taken back to hospital just days after having her daughter to prevent severe blood loss. I don’t get it. It’s almost as if they are trying to kill us on purpose.
All it took was a quick google search, and I was able to find a OB/GYN who not only was a woman, but black at that. I scheduled my appointment immediately, and I could tell from the questionnaire that this woman was about business. When I went in for my exam, she treated me like a person instead of just another patient. She listened to all of my questions and provided answers for each of them. It was like a breath of fresh air because we all know how nerve racking these exams can be. This was the first time in years that I truly felt heard and not dismissed.
I encourage all black women and women of color to speak up concerning their health. Don’t be silenced by doctors who claim to know your body better than you do. You know what feels right and what doesn’t so go with your first instinct whether it’s a checkup, annual exam, or just headache. Your health concerns should never be taken lightly, and you owe it to yourself to find someone who listens to your concerns and responds promptly and accordingly. Don’t settle for anything less.