Hello my name is Sandra Weatherby, MD FACP. I am an Internist and have been practicing at Kaiser Oakland for the last 19 years. I grew up in a single parent household in East Oakland. My Mom was a hard working blue collar worker. I decided I wanted to be a doctor when I was a teenager. I became a doctor because I wanted to help people, there was a certain stability of the practice of medicine, and for the respect and honor that doctors are given. I also wanted to provide compassionate and accessible care to my patients. I did not want anybody to feel that they could not come to the doctor because of their economics, race, gender or any other reason.
I think one of my obstacles to becoming a doctor was academic preparation and getting the best education. I attended inner city schools in Oakland which was great. One summer while in junior high, I went to UC Berkeley for summer programs specifically for inner city school children. I discovered that some of the students were already doing algebra and geometry. I was still doing general math – not because I didn’t have the aptitude for algebra or geometry, but because my school curriculum did not introduce us to higher level math sooner. I would advise young students that it is very important to get as much exposure and education as possible. It is important to get involved in programs that will propel you toward your dreams. My teachers and counselor were always supportive. They helped me get to where I am today.
I found out about Sinkler Miller Scholarships when I was looking for a scholarship for a post baccalaureate program. At that time, they were only giving scholarships to medical students. Once I became a medical student, I was able to apply, and I won! Winning this scholarship helped me to pay for tuition, books, food, and other items. One of the biggest gifts was that it provided me contact to an organization of doctors that I would continue to know over the next 30 years.
I always wanted to come home to the bay area to practice and I did.
I have been on the scholarship committee for over 15 years. I like to be in the background supporting my fellow Sinkler Miller physicians and the students. I was recently asked to become the Chair of the Scholarship Committee. I love what we do! We support students. We support the youth. We support the future of our country and our nation’s health care system.
The organization of Sinkler Miller Medical Association makes a difference in so many lives. Not just the students we support, but their families and their surrounding communities. When all of us support this organization, we support the larger world.
Dr. Weatherby is a graduate of Howard University College of Medicine. She is board certified in Internal Medicine, a Fellow of the American College of Physicians and is affiliated with Kaiser Permanente Oakland Medical Center. She is the Chair of the Scholarship committee. The scholarships are awarded annually at SMMA’s signature fall dinner benefit.