This week’s #WCWinSTEM, is Dr. Ama Arthur Rowe, a clinical psychiatrist who’s clinical interests include, but not limited to psychosomatic medicine and biomedical ethics!
As compiled by Léolène Carrington, Ph.D.
If you got to see our most recent #VanguardSTEM episode, then you were privy of Dr. Rowe in-depth insights on “Minding our Mental Health” as Women of Color. We’re delighted to feature her as this week’s #WCWinSTEM so that you could learn more about her journey!
Responses may be edited for content and brevity.
How would you describe yourself in 1 tweet?
Saturday born, Southern raised, compassionate, loyal, wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, physician, psychiatrist, lover and fighter.
Where/when did you go to school?
- B.A. in Psychology/Pre-med, Spelman College
- M.D. Meharry Medical College
Dr. Rowe then went to Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center for her residency (General Psychiatry, Chief Residency, Psychosomatic Medicine Fellowship)
What do you do right now?
I joined the faculty of Vanderbilt University Medical Center in 2011 as an Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychiatry, holding positions within the Adult Psychiatry Consultation Service, Osher Center of Integrative Medicine and the student Psychological and Counseling Center. I am currently serving as the Medical Director of Complex Behavioral Services. In this role, I collaborate with the Catastrophic Care Team and Transition Management to improve the care of patients identified as high risk for over-utilization of services. I also provide biopsychosocial assessments, develop and revise behavioral care plans and strengthen communication between the patients, family and medical teams, while studying its impact on the health care system and sharing that emerging knowledge in the medical education of students and residents.
What made you choose your STEM discipline in the first place?
I agree with the World Health Organization’s stance that health is not just the absence of disease, but a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being.
I chose medicine, and Psychiatry in particular, as it allowed me to support others in obtaining their best quality of life.
What’s one piece of advice you wish you had when you started your STEM journey?
Focus on Who called you to this journey, and why – that way you remember no person, place or thing is powerful enough to get or stay in your way.
Along your journey, asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness. We are not designed to do it all alone.
Do you have any woman of color in STEM sheros? Who and why?
The first one who comes to mind is Dr. Dorothy Ferebee, who worked to provide healthcare to those in greatest need and to support the plight of working mothers. During the Great Depression, Dr. Ferebee served as Medical Director of the Mississippi Health Project to bring primary medical care to the rural black population across the state of Mississippi. I can only imagine what it took to look racism and sexism in the face everyday, and state that you will not only fight against them both, but take on poverty and the right to basic healthcare?!? She declared that a group of forgotten would live and not die and sought out to make sure this was the case at all costs. She amazes me!
What else are you passionate about?
HBCUs – not just at Homecoming, or only because of Homecoming (but I love Homecoming, too).
Reality TV – it is a strikingly informative demonstration of complicated interpersonal dynamics (as well as shade).
Why do you think it’s important to highlight women of color in STEM?
Because it is so easily forgotten. Ignored. The full impact of so many are minimized at best, if not altogether erased.
For the next generation to truly internalize that all things ARE possible, it is essential for them to see what IS possible.
Are there institutions, groups or organizations you would like to give a shoutout?
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, Kappa Lambda Omega Chapter
Word of Life Christian Center International, Youth Leaders
Is there anything else you’d like us to know about you?
I am the mother of Jael, Emmanuel II and Ezekiel!
Thank you for the work you do, Dr. Rowe! We’re honored to have you in our #VanguardSTEM squad!
*All images courtesy of Dr. Ama Arthur Rowe.
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