Cayman Kelly Focuses Spotlight on Extraordinary Woman in His Life: ‘If You Want to Celebrate Women’s History Month, Start by Empowering the Women You See Every Day’
Voiceover icon and national radio personality Cayman Kelly recently took some time to acknowledge one of the single most important women in his life: his wife, Dr. Kamilah Gilmore Kelly. Dr. Kelly is a practicing physician and recent author of “The Engagement,” a pragmatic medical journal that helps patients organize and get more out of their healthcare visits.
Commemorating Women’s History Month, and focusing on the special significance of Black women’s history, Cayman has long acknowledged those who have helped him rise to fame as one of the most widely recognized voiceover stars in the United States.
“Kamilah’s an amazing doctor and, quite literally, saved my life,” Cayman said. “If it wasn’t for her quick thinking last year when I had my stroke, I might not be here. She drove me to the hospital, stayed on top of my appointments, asked questions about my care, and was there managing every single detail. That’s how she came to write a book to help other people manage their own care – if you don’t have someone rooting for you in the system, helping take charge and looking out for you, chances are you aren’t going to do so well.”
“Black Americans make up 13% of the U.S. population, yet just 5.7% of physicians are Black, and only 2.8% of those are Black females,” said Kelly. “That should give you an idea of the sheer tenacity of spirit and drive it takes to be a Black doctor here. The only good news about that is the number of female medical students has risen a lot, with 2019 marking the first time that the majority of U.S. med school students were women. We can only hope more of them are Black.”
“And this is exactly what I’m talking about when I say that if you want support, if you want love, if you want to be empowered and encouraged and uplifted by the women in your life – you have to start by uplifting them first. Because women have been holding up the sky for men for years. And Black women have been doing it with almost no pay and no credit. Just the shear odds that Kamilah had to beat – what she had to go through to become a doctor and serve her life’s purpose – is an amazing achievement. Women are the key to our future, but this society makes them work far too hard for it.”
Although the number of women doctors has increased, men still hold more than half of the physician’s workforce. In 2007, women accounted for 28.3% of physicians, rising steadily through 2013 to 32.6% and into 2019 at 36.3%. And women are still largely concentrated in family and child specialties: with family medicine, internal medicine, and pediatrics remaining the most popular.
“The Engagement,” by Dr. Kamilah Kelly: 5 Steps to Better Healthcare Planning
“The Engagement” toolkit empowers patients during their healthcare journey by outlining the best ways to interact with healthcare providers and facilitate smooth and effective medical appointments. Whether it is the initial appointment, a follow-up visit, or visiting a medical specialist for the first time, patients can use the medical journal to stay organized and involved with their own health history. The kit includes an easy-to-follow guide, using Dr. Kelly’s Five Simple Steps of the Engagement:
- Have Your Reason for the Visit
- Have an Expectation for the Visit
- Have Your Questions Outlined About Your Visit
- Ask and Understand the Directions Given
- Leave With an Understanding on When to Return
The full toolkit is available via Amazon.com.
Women’s History Month and Afrofuturism
“One of the best expressions of this idea of Black women as an integral part of us moving forward together is the concept of Afrofuturism,” said Cayman. “Afrofuturists are brilliant Black minds – often sci-fi/fantasy writers – but also thinkers, philosophers, and entrepreneurs who can reimagine what is possible for us. They look into the future and plan better days than where we come from. Using science, tech, medicine, art, and social justice, they are the architects of a better tomorrow. And the absolute best Afrofuturists are women: Alondra Nelson, Ytasha Womack, Octavia Butler, N.K. Jemisin, and others. Along with the non-famous, quiet champions who do this kind of work every single day. Black women who have beaten the odds – people like my wife.”
For the latest updates on voice appearances, ESPN show announcements, and other projects, follow Cayman Kelly on social media: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn.