Eight years ago, doctors and medical students came together in unprecedented numbers to put our shoulders to the wheel and pass a health reform law that would ensure that millions more Americans could get health care. We marched, we petitioned, we stood with President Obama and with our patients.
Because of our efforts, we saved lives. We safeguarded dreams. We made a declaration that every person deserves their dignity and respect - and that the oath we swear to provide care for people can be carried out in reality.
Since then, we have exercised our white coat voices for victims of gun violence, for women to choose contraception or an abortion, for affordable drugs, for an end to racial disparities in health, for a society that makes it possible for every person to lead a healthy life and reach for their dreams. In the process, we have learned to use our power.
Today, as we face an uncertain future for the nation, and as we take stock of the results of the election - results that throw into doubt the future of the ACA and of all the issues we care about - we may feel tired at times, but we have one another to lean on. Our individual and collective voices are even more important than ever before.
One thing for us all to remember is that our nation is defined every day by what each of us chooses to do and be, how each of us chooses to treat one another, whether each of us stands tall not just for ourselves but for others - especially those who have not yet found their own voice. And today our brothers and sisters and patients need us more than ever.
As physicians and physicians-to-be and our supporters, we know that every life has value regardless of ideology or politics. We have the power to help heal our nation. And we must rise up to make that our responsibility.
Let us choose love and kindness. Let us choose compassion and generosity. Let us choose to stand - especially in the face of fear and uncertainty. Let us choose to believe in extraordinary people whose collective energy is needed more now than ever before.
Let us reach out to those with whom we disagree and do our part to bring together a divided nation.
Let us each pledge to do all the good we can in all the places we can, for all the people we can, for as long as we can.
And, today, let us rest and spend time with our loved ones so we can resolve ourselves for the work ahead.
Mona Vishin Mangat, MD - Board Chair
Alice Chen, MD - Executive Director