At the tender age of 10, I learned one of those transformative lessons in life regarding stereotypes and biases. While stereotypes can be helpful in acute, life-threatening scenarios (think large bear charging at you while you are on a hike), I consider both to be barriers to my development as a physician, scientist, and human being.

In today's call-out culture, writing on this topic can be challenging. I share my personal story with the hopes that you will read with an open mind, realizing that I continue to learn lessons and develop greater insight into the societal issues of diversity, inclusion, equity, and how personal stereotypes and biases act as barriers to enriching our lives and perspectives and hence make me a better doctor.

I was born in an upper middle-class, white neighborhood in Pasadena, California. My blank slate...

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