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Desarea Murray, Nurse Practitioner for WellMed at Live Oak in Dallas Texas, always knew she wanted to help people and provide her patients with the care they needed.
Murray said it all started when her parents bought her a Fisher Price doctor’s kit.
“I still have that kit today and it had a stethoscope, a blood pressure cuff, a reflex hammer and a syringe to give a shot and that I believe jump started things,” Murray said. “I pretended to be a doctor and take care of my stuffed animals and my dolls.”
Murray said the passion passed on through her college years when she received her Bachelor of Science in nursing with Abilene Christian University through the Patty Hanks Shelton School of Nursing.
Throughout her journey, Murray became the first African-American Ms. South Lake in the 12th year of the Miss America Pageant Organization in 2015.
Murray said the experience helped her discover a great amount about herself and how she works within her medical practices.
“I gained a lot of my public speaking expertise at that time and just a lot of self-confidence, which wonderfully rolled into how I practiced medicine, how I communicate with my patients, and how I communicate and work with my peers,” Murray said. “That makes all of the difference for me.”
Murray said that in addition to the encouraging experiences she has had, she has also faced adversity and difficulties that made her work even harder.
“Other than the being a minority race-wise, I’m also a minority by age in the field as well and that has been a challenge,” Murray said. “There are many physicians and other nurse practitioners or physician assistants that are older than me or have many more years of experience due to age, and they just don’t receive my thoughts and opinions openly.”
Murray said being a young black woman in the healthcare field, let alone anywhere will pose adversity but getting past those obstacles will make you stronger.
“There will always be obstacles and there will be challenges, but I don’t let that define me,” Murray said. “There isn’t anything that I won’t be able to persevere through.”
Murray said having a support network, staying the course, and not letting anyone destroy your dream make all the difference in the field.
Murray said she advices others to pursue a career in the medical field and to explore greater education options.
“I encourage everybody to get their education and there are some that don’t believe college is the way to go, and it may not be for everyone, but I am a huge supporter of education and advancement of education,” Murray said. “In the field of a nurse practitioner, the demand for education continues to change.”
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