Celebrating Black History Month: Dr. Gisele Arrey
Celebrating Black History Month
Dr. Gisele Arrey is a Family Medicine Physician and Primary Care Provider at Southcoast Health.
In an outpatient setting, she helps her patients stay on top of their health by taking preventative health measures, managing chronic conditions and treating acute illness.
As Southcoast Health celebrates Black History Month, Dr. Arrey shares how this month is significant to her both personally and professionally.
“Black History Month is a reminder that we as a nation have come a long way and the opportunities I have had and the work I do are all signs of that,” she says. “I hope this month gives everyone a chance to reflect on the progress we have made, and plan for how we can continue to make a real and lasting change moving forward.”
In her experience, Dr. Arrey witnessed first-hand the importance of health equity and access to care. “I grew up in a part of the world where there was and still is very limited access to healthcare providers. After moving here, the benefits of access to preventive care were too obvious,” she says. “I knew very early that pursuing a career in healthcare was my passion, and frankly changing one life is enough for me.”
Originally from Cameroon, Dr. Arrey moved to the United States when she was 21 years old. “I moved from a very rich and proud culture that I believe gave me the resilience, grace and patience I needed to tolerate the hardships that came my way,” she says.
“I know for sure that my success in a lot of these settings where I am the ‘’only person of color’’ in the room, comes from my naivety or newness to this environment. I sometimes wonder if I would have achieved this much, had I been born here.” she says. “For these reasons and many more, I give more grace and patience to my sisters and brothers with whom I share the same skin color but had to deal with these racial issues for much longer than I have.”
Now, Dr. Arrey prioritizes providing well-rounded care to all of the patients she sees. “Microaggressions may seem benign but have additive and detrimental effects on our physical and mental health,” she says. In her role, she hopes to inspire others to reach for their goals.
In the future, Dr. Arrey hopes to see more diversity at every level of the healthcare field. “No one should have to struggle so hard to find people who look like them, doing the things they dream of doing and who also believe in them,” she says. “I hope for more diverse partnerships and friendships because it is only by spending time with others and really getting to know them that we can begin to understand and help each other,” she says.
To learn more about Southcoast Health’s Black History Month celebration please visit: Celebrating Black History Month – Southcoast Health.