Brandon Postoak

Portraits in Chickasaw Strength and Resilience

As a youth and young adult, Dr. Brandon Postoak found himself in search of a higher purpose and an outlet to fully realize his unfulfilled potential. "I discovered that I didn't really know who I was as a person," he says. "I wanted to figure out who I was and how I could become the person I need to be. And a lot of that was through my heritage, my culture, you know, being Chickasaw."

With the help of Chickasaw Nation educational programs, Brandon was able to discover his love of science, physics and chemistry, leading him on a path towards medicine. "I actually have medicine men and medicine women in our family," he says. "I practice in Western medicine and so it's really interesting sometimes when I learn things in Western medicine, you know, how it ties back to old ways or how long it has been going or how they discover this, you know, and how Western medicine enhanced that. It's really awesome to have that in the family. And, you know, I'm sure there's something deep down inside me that kind of helped gear me toward this direction."

Now as an emergency medicine physician, Dr. Brandon Postoak is inspired by the legacy of traditional medicine left by his ancestors, incorporating the mind, body and spirit into his practice. He's also using his experience to steer more First American youth towards careers in science. "My goal is to go back to a position in emergency medicine and try to recruit more Native Americans into these health care slash STEM fields," he explains. "It's very cliche, but if I can do it, you can do it."

Brandon has learned a great deal on his journey, such as success is what you make it and finding your path isn't always easy. He also thinks that what you do should bring happiness. "That's something that's kind of been instilled in my Chickasaw culture is having that drive and understanding that you have to work to get what you want."