I recently watched a movie called Something the Lord Made. It starred Mos Def playing the role of Vivien Thomas, a black carpenter who helped the famous Dr. Blalock of Johns Hopkins develop the surgery to correct Tetrology of Fallot. Vivien Thomas went just about his whole life without any official acknowledgement of his role in the process until finally, when racial tensions eased in the hospital he was given an honorary doctor and a painted protrait which hangs beside Dr. Blalock’s picture to this day. If Vivien Thomas could accomplish so much without a college education then how much more should I expect myself to accomplish? Overall, I was inspired by the story and would encourage any aspiring minority and non-minority doctors to see it if you haven’t already.
Viven Thomas helped to change the world through medicine, and while the movie didn’t delve too much into it, some of that change came at the cost of his family. And not just his…in the movie Dr. Blalock’s wife mentioned that their daughter wished she could be a patient so that she could see her daddy. I never want to her that from my wife or daughter, yet Dr. Blalock and Viven Thomas changed the world! There always seems to be the delicate balance. But the question I will be pondering for the day is: “Has there been anyone in history who has changed the world without sacrificing their family in the process?”