When first starting as an ophthalmologist, I was definitely nervous about a number of things—as most doctors can attest to. This was a new and challenging position; for the first time I was essentially on my own as an attending. Given the landscape that lay before me, I was a bit on edge, any number of factors could have caused my confidence to waver some.
Walking into the hospital as a Muslim women in hijab would it become this enormous elephant in the room? Would that somehow lessen patients’ faith in me? Would they not see me for who I was, for the skills that I had worked so hard over the course of 13 years to acquire and master?.. Many near me even some of my own closest family members suggested that I remove my hijab or somehow modify it and wear it like a hat, making it appear less “Muslim-looking.” Perhaps then I would fit in better and gain patients’ acceptance. ...But I stayed strong and remained true to who I was in my identity with each new placement and each new position as my career advanced.
Looking back now as an accomplished physician.. My hijab is who I am, and I would never change who I am for anyone. I truly believe God has blessed me further for putting my trust in Him.
And to all of you just beginning your journey, just navigating those waters and feeling your way, know that you are not alone in what you might be experiencing and in those doubts that you may have; also know that you are both uniquely you and part of a something so much bigger at the same time. I just hope that my posts help give you some strength. When searching for a voice that perhaps has been in your shoes in order to gain courage from it—I pray that mine might somehow show you that while at times the odds may not be in your favor, the struggle is definitely worth it.
We live in an amazing time, largely because we do have the opportunity to share our stories, and through this medium, encourage, support and cheer one another on. You may feel alone sometimes—but trust me, you are not. And above all know that God is with you and He has power over all things.
#hijabismycrown #muslimandproud #mondaymotivation #beunapologeticallyyou