By Kevin Wang
This column is completely related to my research project. In the beginning of the month, I went to the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) National Conference for Special Constituencies (NCSC) in Kansas City. This conference brings together the five constituencies to meet — women, minorities, international medical graduates, new physicians and the LGBT community — and discuss a wide range of topics. I was lucky enough to have our local chapter of the AAFP sponsor me to go and represent our state for our LGBT community.
I have to admit, it was probably the most intimidating experience of my professional career as I’m a measly resident meeting with physicians who have had years of experience and knowledge that I lack. The one thing that made me go through with the conference was that I wanted to learn as much as I could about the specific health care needs of the LGBT community and to network with influential physicians in the nation.
The conference began with a meeting of all the attendees of all the constituencies followed by individual sessions of each one where I met all the LGBT physicians attending the conference. Here, I met people who have helped to form policies not only in our academy but also in state legislatures to aid our community in civil unions, same-sex health benefits, adoptions and countless other issues. With my interest in educating physicians and medical students about the specific health needs of our community, I was able to help write a resolution to come up with the formation of specific guidelines to aid physicians with treating the LGBT community and identifying local resources. Other resolutions that were written involve further support for adoption, health benefits for same-sex couples, civil unions, fertility education, support for Gay-Straight Alliances, HIV testing and specific education topics for our transgender population.
Speaking of which, I met my first transgender physician. I was completely impressed with her strength, composure and truthfulness involving her complete transformation from starting out with hormone therapy to complete Genital-Removal-Surgery seven months ago. She was able to educate us on specific health needs of our transgender population and petition for further education from experts in the field.
And this was all done in just a matter of five days. It was the most intense, revitalizing and inspiring conference I’ve ever attended. My goal was to come back here and use the information and ideas that I was able to obtain and apply it to the readers of this fine newspaper!
And so, that brings me back to my research project. I’m starting a research project in my program to increase awareness of the LGBT community in the medical community. In order to fulfill the resolution of creating guidelines for physicians to treat the specific health needs of our community, I urge and ask you to contact me for my surveys so physicians can gain the cultural proficiency and understanding to treat our community!
For a more detailed explanation, please visit the site: https://www.pridesource.com/article.shtml?article=17789. Please e-mail me at the address below and I’ll send out the materials. I’d like to thank those of you who have responded. Your help is much appreciated.
So that’s my column for the month and I certainly hope to be bombarded with e-mails asking for copies of the surveys. I hope this column finds everyone in good health and spirits and I’ll see you next month!