Chemen Tate, MD

C TateDr. Chemen Tate was raised by a single mother who died at a young age, which forced her to become independent early in life. As an undergraduate, she had her first child yet managed to begin a passion for research and scholarship that raised her awareness of the possibility of a career in academic medicine. She was a fellow of the Minority Biological Research Support program (MBRS), while at San Diego State University, in the laboratory of Dr. Jacques Perrault, where she studied the Vaccina Virus Expression System. She graduated with a B.S. in biology in 1999. Throughout her time at San Diego State, she was a single mother and relied heavily on the support of the MBRS and Howard Hughes programs. She credits her success to the caring people leading these programs and to the network of close friends she made while engaging in academic and scientific excellence.

She trained in medical school at the University of Chicago where she was one of a few minority students and the only woman in the class with a child. She enjoyed a great deal of camaraderie and support from the other women in class and there began to value the support that one woman can give to another. She completed her MD at the University of Chicago, Pritzker School of Medicine in 2004, followed by a residency in obstetrics and gynecology divided between Loma Linda University and Indiana University. She expanded her family in the fourth year of medical school with the addition of a daughter. Following residency, she joined private practice in Indianapolis, and added a third child to her family, one month after starting her new position. While starting a business at the end of pregnancy, when she would have wanted to spend more time with her family, may not have been the best way to enter the practice of OB/GYN, she credits her strong support system and the advocacy that organizations like AMWA provide for making such a feat conceivable.

After three years in private practice, the opportunity became available to reignite her passion for scholarship and education through a faculty position at The Indiana University School of Medicine where she is now an assistant professor of clinical obstetrics and gynecology. Through her work at Indiana University, she now teaches medical students and residents, lectures nationally and internationally, and engages in leadership development at the medical center. She is even pursuing a master’s degree in clinical research to strengthen her skill set as an investigator and academic clinician. Dr. Tate also understands the value of taking care of one’s self. She views fitness as a goal for a healthy family and has modeled this for her children by participating in endurance sports including triathlons and long distance open-water swimming. She has run half-marathons in support of breast cancer awareness and research and completed her first half-ironman in November of 2012. Her efforts in time management, work-life balance, athletics, raising a family, and serving as a clinician educator are often commended by her peers.

Her eldest son is pursuing a major in English literature at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. She is proud to say that her daughter is a competitive gymnast and budding scientist who supports her mother tremendously by engaging her five-year-old brother in very caring and creative ways. This is why Dr. Tate wants to be a member of the board of directors at AMWA. She believes that fostering the careers of other young women to pursue their goals as she has pursued hers is commendable and worthy of her time and attention. She is committed to the goals of AMWA and wishes to lead a group that empowers women and reflects their unique challenges and perspectives.