We are so excited that the Resident Student Association (RSA) has sponsored two resident attendees to FIX2019!  The scholarship application called the residents to write about a personal situation or important issue surrounding women in emergency medicine.  Please enjoy the first of the essays by scholarship winner, Dr. Natassia Buckridge! 

There is something so exciting about sizing up a tree, mastering the climb, and looking out at the landscape from atop it. I like to envision my journey to emergency medicine as the ascent up a large, complex, identity-shaping tree. Reflecting on my first few days of elementary school as a new immigrant in New York City, I stood at the base of this tree. I was uncertain about this climb. I remember feeling that sense of otherness too, with my thick Jamaican accent and thrifted clothing. I became a U.S citizen some ten years later and a physician eight years after that. I didn’t always know where the next step up the tree would lead me. I did pick up gear along the way that makes the climb easier– rope (mentors), harnesses (colleagues and friends), and spurs (resilience and grit).

Now that I’ve started residency, I stand at the foot of another journey. In emergency medicine, we challenge ourselves and each other to look past gender, ethnicity, nationality, socioeconomic status to find the humanity in every patient. Emergency medicine is the specialty that allows me to embrace every part of my identity as a woman, immigrant, minority, and physician. Furthermore, organizations like FemInEM add sturdy branches of support to my tree. By attending the FIX19 conference, I hope to continue to strengthen my support system as I grow in my career.