There’s a doctor in the house

 We celebrated the completion of a four-generational journey from a previously segregated medical system in Florida to a Level III perinatal center in Illinois, and raised our glasses to the proud family who can now say, “There’s a doctor in the house.”

Doctor Jameela Media graduated from medical school on Saturday and will begin her residency at Loyola University Medical Center, her first choice, in June. 

With her 92-year old great-grandmother Thelma and the rest of her family looking on, Dr. Media choked up a little as she recited the Hippocratic Oath, recognizing the significance of the moment.

“I’ll walk in the front door of that hospital as a doctor,” she said. “My great-grandmother and her family had to go in the back.”

When Granny Thelma was a child growing up in Florida, her family could not find a hospital to treat her baby brother.

“My dad was a sawmill worker,” she said. “We did not have access to the hospitals back then. There weren’t any for black people. So, when my brother got sick, my dad went to his boss.”

Eventually, the boss found a doctor to come to the family’s house but it was too late and the 11-month old baby died of pneumonia.

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 outlawed the segregation that led to such overt inequities in medical treatment, but we still have a long way to go. Today, according to the AAMC, just 5% of doctors identify as Black or African American.

Jameela, who also holds a Masters Degree in Public Health, would love to see those numbers improve. She has a passion for helping to reduce healthcare disparity for underserved populations and intends to work toward that following her OB-GYN residency.

Dr. Media wore a T-shirt that read “Black Girl White Coat” to her graduation party, a witty celebration of accomplishment and love. Her three sisters all wore “Don’t ovary-act, my sister is a doctor!” shirts in honor of Jameela’s chosen field, and her husband Rashaud wore a “Don’t ovary-act, my wife is a doctor” shirt. Jameela’s parents Jimmy and Trenette wore shirts that read “She believed she could so she did” on the front and “my daughter is a doctor” on the back.

I also spotted a small child who had been a flower girl at Jameela’s wedding wearing a shirt that said, “Follow your dreams!”

I like to think the optimism represented by all those T-shirts bubbled up from that party tent and out into the world around.

Congratulations to Dr. Media, who is changing lives by changing her prefix, and to her amazing family as well.

Here are a handful of people who showed up to celebrate Dr. Media.
Jameela and her husband Rashaud met in grad school at Southern Illinois.
Granny Thelma, who will celebrate her 92nd birthday in June, is a walking piece of history. It was especially cool for her to see her great-granddaughter take the Hippocratic Oath. Jameela’s mother, and Thelma granddaughter Trenette is a teacher at Templeton Middle School in Sussex.
They hosted a very clever, extremely delicious (they are all amazing cooks) celebration.
It was hard to get a picture of Jameela’s father Jimmy because he was all over the place setting up heaters, icing coolers and taking care of party guests. But, he graciously paused for a second or two so I could take this shot.
Jimmy’s license plate.
Vince, Trenette and Jameela’s sister Shakeela, who graduated from the University of Dayton after attending on a full basketball scholarship.
Jameela’s proud Uncle Traveain (DJ Tra) was in the house as well.
This is Jameela, her husband Rashaud and Jameela’s grandma Shara. Shara also played a big role in Jameela’s life. She watched Jameela while Trenette attended college “Even back then she had hopes that, if it could start with me, the future generation may have a chance to do even more and look what has happened!” Trenette said.
Two ageless matriarchs.
Jameela’s sister Ameera rolled out the celebratory IV drip…
…and some of us, who hadn’t done so since college, enjoyed a jello shot.
Jameela’s goddaughters wore the theme of the day on their shirts. Follow your dreams, man. And then you will change the world.
Congratulations Dr. Media!

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