How many times have we all started an email with the phrase, “I hope this message finds you well”? As I reflect on the members of the Charlotte Medical, Dental, & Pharmaceutical Society and the challenges that we have faced over the past few months, I think this phrase has taken on new meaning for me. I sincerely hope that each one of you are as well as can be during these difficult times. The last few months have been an emotional rollercoaster – from the difficult but necessary decision to close and slow our offices in order to protect patients, to optimism about reopening to serve our communities, and now the constant reminders that it is still a controversial idea to believe that Black Lives Matter.
As Black medical professionals, we are well aware of the ways that racism and systemic oppression effect health outcomes for our patients, families, and communities. Being faced with these challenges can seem daunting, but for many of us, addressing these challenges was the reason we chose to become medical professionals. We embrace the responsibility to care for our community. But as we continue to serve, the CMDPS leaders want you to know we are committed to supporting your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. The trauma of witnessing the murder of black men and black women repeatedly can cause deep and penetrating trauma, which can manifest as mental health concerns such as anxiety and PTSD or physical health concerns such as elevated blood pressure and pain. We are asking members who may need support to please reach out. While the summer is typically a hiatus period for the CMDPS, we are committed to helping our members and advocating for our community every day. Our membership spans generations; each with a story to tell of optimism and perseverance.