In summer 2023, Doximity ran our Women in Medicine essay contest. We are happy to announce this as the runner-up.
I’ll venture to bet that if you asked, most female physicians would say that their superpower is being able to see 100 patients a day (with the help of a care team). Or perhaps you’ll hear that another female doc is able to keep a perfectly balanced work and home life.
After 25 years in medicine there is one thing that would characterize my journey as a woman in medicine: the relentless pursuit of my goals despite the odds. Call it stubbornness, determination, or audacity, but I prefer to think of it as the power of perseverance. I just don’t quit. I keep coming to my private practice and taking care of my still growing practice every day because … well, that’s what I do. I took this oath, I committed to this profession, and I’m seeing it through to the best of my abilities. And, while this may not seem like a huge superpower, believe me, it is. I literally consider myself a hero. Despite a long and grueling career where at times I held three jobs at once, I continued to care for my patients. Despite being a single parent and wanting to do a darn good job of raising a wonderful human, I continued to care for my patients, day in and day out. Despite a pandemic where the country and the economy practically stood still and many physicians called it quits, I continued to care for my patients, not missing a day of work.
My superpower of perseverance was further fueled by my commitment to lifelong learning. My journey through the annals of medicine helped me realize the significance of the phrase “Medical Mastery.” With time, I understood that being a physician was not just about diagnosing and treating disease. It was about mastering the intricacies of human health and well-being, continually updating my knowledge to offer the best possible care.
Being a physician has also meant that at times I have been a guide, a teacher, and a counselor. I have found myself offering advice on topics far beyond the physical realm of health, dealing also with emotional and psychological issues that were impacting my patients’ health. This ability to serve multiple functions and still remain steadfast in my commitment to health care underpins the breadth and depth of my perseverance.
It also led me to a journey of conscious, personal growth, once again shattering ceilings, but this time of my own perceived personal limitations. I learned Reiki, meditation, and hypnosis. I participated in countless hours of self-discovery along with my conscious community in South Florida. Now I guide others in their journey to re-discover their authentic selves. I’ve never felt better!
My journey is also a testament to the fact that the world of medicine, once considered a male bastion, has been transformed by female physicians who continue to shatter glass ceilings. As a part of this cadre of women who are continually redefining the landscape of health care, I see my superpower of perseverance mirrored in them. This combination of resilience and fortitude not only fuels my journey but also inspires countless women to dare to dream.
So I suppose you could say that my superpower is an intricate blend of perseverance, authenticity, and constant learning. It is a testament to every setback turned into a step forward, every “no” transformed into a “yes,” and every barrier converted into a stepping stone. This superpower has defined my journey in medicine and my personal journey. It has enabled me to contribute significantly to a field I deeply cherish. It has also allowed me to become the doctor that I always wanted to be while nurturing the relationships and family I love.
So for those of you who may be early in your careers and looking to save the planet from all that ails it, I say to you this: Don’t underestimate the power of showing up and doing your best. It’s perhaps one of the more unsung superpowers, but ultimately it proves itself to deliver the goods.
Do you share in this superpower? Share in the comments.
Yael Myers, MD is an Ivy League trained, board certified internist and mother living in Miami. When not taking care of her patients she loves to take care of her dogs or travel to bask in nature.
Illustration by Jennifer Bogartz