Medical students Bronwyn Wada-Gill, Simone Thibault, and Alex Kaplan in the PURCH track (Class of 2022) attended the "Q-Med: Building LGBTQI+ Leaders in Health Care" conference at the Yale School of Medicine March 30-31, 2019.
(Photo left to right: Bronwyn Wada-Gill, Simone Thibault, Alex Kaplan)
The Q-Med conference was geared to health professions students and undergraduates interested in healthcare careers, with the aim of cultivating future LGBTQI+ leaders in the areas of research, clinical care, education, and policy/advocacy.
Speakers and workshops addressed the challenges facing LGBTQI+ leaders, such as, health disparities in the LGBTQI+ community, and the need to better educate students about the health needs of this community.
The students also came away with practical strategies for treating transgender patients, creating an affirming clinical environment, and having difficult conversations with patients, peers, and senior colleagues.
According to Alex Kaplan, "queering leadership" was one of the most inspiring concepts he learned about. He explained, that "teaching how each person’s sexual orientation and gender identity could improve leadership roles by bringing unique perspectives, diverse lived experiences, and a deep sense of empathy to the table."
Taking a Leadership Role in LGBTQI+ Curricula
The three students networked with students and faculty from medical institutions across the country, and are excited to work with medical students at Tufts University and the University of Vermont on LGBTQI+ curricula and initiatives at UMMS, to make the campus a more supportive place.
Thibault and Kaplan, who are co-leaders for QMass (the LGBTQI+ student group at UMMS), plan to use what they learned at the conference to improve the LGBTQ+ health elective they will be leading in Fall 2019 on Worcester.
Kaplan will also be creating the LGBTQ+ population health clerkship for second year medical students on the Worcester campus.
> More about the Q-Med conference
> Transgender services at Baystate Health