The journey of becoming a physician is a long and taxing trip. As a third year osteopathic medical student I am right in the thick of it (shameless plug: D.O.’s – osteopathic physicians- and M.D.’s are the only fully licensed physicians in the United States). Not only are we required to complete years of schooling, we are constantly being critiqued by our superiors, our patients, their families, our peers, and we are hard on ourselves as well. It can be stressful at times. I often find myself reflecting: 1.How did I get where I am today? 2. What motivates me? 3. How can I improve?
The skills I learned at Camp Runoia are instrumental in helping me address these questions every day, enabling me to further develop my career and reach my potential.
Women are still working hard for equal acceptance in the field of medicine. Yes, it is possible to be a successful physician while possessing two X chromosomes and a uterus! Admitting women to medical school did not become vogue until the mid 1900’s, mere decades ago. More recently a female physician’s offer to help during an inflight medical emergency was allegedly dismissed by a flight attendant, presumably because she did not fit the stereotypical idealization of what a physician “should” look like. Certain medical specialties are still dominated by males. And, yes, many people still assume that the female physician or med student in the room is a nurse.
I don’t let this dishearten me though, because I was brought up with the most important lifelong lesson Runoia teaches us, empowerment: you as a woman have self worth and are valuable member of your community. A woman can walk into a room with confidence and introduce herself without the concern of feeling unequal.
CR taught us at an early age that we were valued as a member of the camp community and our only educational limitations were the ones we set for ourselves. Unfortunately, not all women were brought up with this philosophy. Quite often I meet many educated women my age that tell me they were not brought up with the mindset that a woman can have a powerful career. Many women are still forging a path forward for themselves, sometimes with little support. So here is my reminder to you all: the next time you stand with a friend or a colleague that is apprehensive about entering that crowded male dominated conference room or taking a risk to further the boundaries of her career, pass on some of that Camp Runoia strength and confidence we possess. Let’s work together as CR alum to unite women together. We’ll all become a stronger force of women by supporting each other and working together.
Crystal Cobb, OMS III
Campbell University School of Osteopathic Medicine
Political Affairs Director
National Board of Directors | Student Osteopathic Medical Association (SOMA)