Friday, April 8, 2011
Pulitzer Nominee Yvonne S. Thornton, MD, MPH
Obviously, such a gifted and successful woman had to have been born into a family and circumstances that afforded such opportunities. Dear reader, if you believe that, you are so very wrong... and so very right.
Dr. Thornton and her five sisters are the daughters of father, Donald, and mother, Itasker, whose wealth was the love and determination to succeed they bestowed upon their children. Donald Thornton was a ditchdigger who worked two full-time jobs to put food on the table. Donald's guidance and creed of "Don't let anyone define who you are" instilled the sisters with the understanding that intelligent and educated are not synonyms. And, that by combining intelligence, drive, and courage, any goal is attainable.
Dr. Thornton stands today as the ultimate example of that philosophy.
"Something to Prove: A Daughter's Journey to Fulfill a Father's Legacy" is Dr. Thornton's personal story of how, armed with her father's teachings, she ascended to the top of her field despite setbacks, bias, and a white male-dominated field.
As a result of Dr. Thornton's continuing dedication to helping women "INSIDE INFORMATION FOR WOMEN: Answers to the Mysteries of the Female Body and Her Health" was released this year.
Q) A question from my wife: Why did you choose to pursue a career specializing in obstetrics and gynecology?
A) The answer is in my first memoir, The Ditchdigger's Daughters ("The Thornettes"). I didn't choose obstetrics, I think it chose me. At the age of eight years of age, I was witness to a precipitous delivery in an elevator.
Q) You and your husband, though so busy with your distinguished medical careers, both volunteered to serve active duty in the U.S. Navy. Why?
Q) Excluding family, what would you consider your crowning achievement; the one accomplishment you feel defines your character?
A) I can't exclude my family because they are the essence of my being and my children are my most valued accomplishment. My husband is my champion. After that, being the first black woman in the United States to be Board-certified in High-Risk Obstetrics is my highest professional accomplishment.
Q) I've heard a rumor about a T-bird and its role in some college shenanigans. Care to share a story or two?
A) If you define "shenanigans" as commuting back and forth home from Monmouth College (West Long Branch to Long Branch) in my fabulous 1965 Thunderbird convertible with sequential turning signals, well that was about it.
Q) Your father said, "If you look back and think you did a whole lot then, you're not doin' a damn thing now." So, what's next for Dr. Yvonne Thornton?