“I am going to do what I want to do because my parents told me I can be anything that I want to be.” Dr. Hilda Hutcherson
You’ve probably seen her on Oprah, read one of her books, or seen her in one of many magazines. Dr. Hilda Hutcherson is a more than an Obstetrician and Gynecologist. She’s also a wife, mother, author, educator and advocate for informing women of their bodies, their sexuality and having children. Her perseverance and accomplishments have certainly demonstrated her determination in times of adversity.
Hilda was born in Tuskegee, Alabama as one of five children. At the young age of nine she announced she would become a doctor and she never looked back. This was not a popular career choice with many coming from a similar socioeconomic status and family background. But Hilda’s aspirations were fueled by living out her parents’ dreams: both wanted to be in the medical field. Despite being adamant in her career intentions and interest in attending a top-tier school, there were many people who discouraged her. In 2007 she told Newsweek that one of her teachers told her, “You have three strikes against you. You’re poor, you’re black and you’re female. You’re not going to become a doctor.” Fortunately she had a strong foundation of the values her parents instilled including understanding the importance of education and that anything can be accomplished through hard work. These values further helped her through her undergraduate studies at Stanford, medical school at Harvard, and residency at Columbia University Medical Center.
Hilda did not always want to be an Ob/Gyn. Instead, she thought she would become a pediatrician. It was a bad experience with a male campus physician with a poor bedside manner that sparked her interest in going into gynecology – a specialty where she felt she could make a difference. Throughout her life she has realized how little women know, talk about, and feel comfortable with their bodies and sexuality. She also discovered that many women don’t share as much as they should with their doctors. Her books, Having Your Baby: A guide for African American Women, What Your Mother Never Told You About S-e-x, and Pleasure: A Woman’s Guide to Getting the Sex You Want Need and Deserve are aimed at educating women on understanding their bodies and sexuality better.
Her degrees and books are only some of her many experiences and accomplishments. Hilda was a medical consultant for The Cosby Show for several years, has appeared on numerous television shows and documentaries, has written columns for both Essence and Glamour magazines, and was named as one of America’s Leading Physicians by Black Enterprise Magazine, and one of the Top Doctors in New York in the Castle Connoly Guide. It doesn’t stop there. She also has a private practice in New York City, is a director of Gynecologic Teaching Associates, associate dean of minority affairs and diversity, professor of clinical obstetrics and gynecology, and sits on the admissions committee at Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York. She has been married for over 20 years to her husband, Frederic, who is an anesthesiologist. They have four children. Dr. Hilda Hutcherson has truly made an impact to many and lucky for us, it doesn’t seem like she’s stopping anytime soon.