#BMIM | Battle Cry by Dr. Brandon Henry
So my boys and I were talking on Groupme, discussing what it’s like to be a black man in medicine. We had all these different phrases that we felt spoke to our individual and collective experiences. I chimed in with, “I’m. That. Dude!!!” Almost immediately after it posted in the group, the “LIKE” icon lit up (one group member said he wished he could push the like button twice). “It’s like a battle cry”, said one of the group members. Inside my head, the gears started turning. I was reminded how important it is for us as black men to tell ourselves this daily. I mean, it really is something like a battle cry.
This journey into medicine as a black man is, at times, a daily battle. Between medical school and now fellowship, there have been mornings where upon waking, I just felt it was going to be a rough day. So what did I do, I either told myself before walking in the building that I’m that dude and I deserved to be there or, I call a friend or mentor like Dr. Landry and allow him to speak to me and remind me that, I’m. That. D ude!!! Remember that iron sharpens iron. There will be times that you may not have the confidence to tell yourself I’m. That. Dude!!! In these times it’s important to have your boys/girls that can remind you that you are good and that you deserve to be there. When they do their job as your friend and remind you, waste no time in saying, I’m. That. Dude!!!
I struggled with this for a while. I struggled with Imposter Syndrome for most of my first year of residency. I had to make this battle cry a part of my daily routine. Even when I didn’t believe it, I still said it. I dressed like I was that dude, so even when I didn’t feel it, I knew I looked good, which in turn made me feel good. Bear in mind that it’s not just about saying it, you have to walk in it as well. Carry yourself like you’re that dude! Dress like you’re that dude! Don’t give people any room to second guess you and your abilities.
The point of this blog was not to discuss the struggle, but more so to empower you all. It’s important that we continue to encourage and uplift each other. If your boy is struggling, let him know the battle cry and make him repeat it. Even if your boy isn’t struggling, make him repeat the battle cry. You having a bad day, state your battle cry. You having a good day, state your battle cry anyways! It’s time for us to come together and recognize our capabilities. It’s time for us to acknowledge who we are and that we deserve every bit of our success. I’m ready for battle, are you? If so, say it with me…..I’M. THAT. DUDE!!!
– Brandon –