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fantasty

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I'm not sure what I mean to accomplish by starting a thread but I'm bored so humor me....

But, does anyone want to talk about specific schools, specific residency / training programs, specialities, or even as broad as whole health professions that they think of as being more (or less) LGBTQI-friendly?

I always hesitate to make generalizations outside of my own experiences, and I'm sure there's a little bit of a different experience in this era compared to mine. But, just as a few seeds (and I'll probably be more specific if the conversation warrants but this is just ice-breaker stuff):
 
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fantasty

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(Sorry - I'm breaking this into several posts because it's crazy long)

Disciplines: Not going to over-generalize. But, clearly nursing has a slight stereotype for being welcoming of gay men. (But, before anyone jumps on me - I fully appreciate that nursing has been very welcoming for all men, so I'm not trying to generalize... in fact, I might just delete this paragraph because I already regret it). But, from an L & G standpoint, I'd say that (in general, in my experience) that healthcare across the board has been somewhat more accepting than many other professions. Not perfect, by any means, but obviously a many folks gravitate to these fields. [I swear I'm getting stupider as I type this].

Schools: Many med schools have some form of support for LGBTQI students, including interest groups or resources in the student affairs office. My anecdote: I came out during the time between UG and med school, and met my husband at that time (1999-2000). I was in a fairly liberal community, but I was not even out to my family yet when I was applying to schools. But, at the time, I felt like this was a relatively minor factor in deciding where to go to school. [Note, it was still early in my relationship so I had no idea if we were going to be moving together, so I was much more focused on finding the "right" school for me.] I think I assumed that most school would be as open / accepting as my undergrad. But, I also limited my applications geographically to states that I thought I'd feel comfortable in (in general). I'm not from the Midwest, but I did apply to a fair number in the MW as well as both coasts. The other quirk to me is that I was planning on doing an MD/MPH, but I decided to apply to one MSTP because they had a PhD in preventive medicine. So, when I was given an interview at that school, it became more of a tangible issue because the culture is more of an "interview weekend" and people are more likely to bring their spouse / SO. (Similar to residency interviews). I didn't bring him, and I don't recall talking about my "outness" much during the interviews since it was much more focused on research and "would this be a good place for you for 6-10 years". But, they accepted me and brought be back for a second look before I committed, and at that point they were more than happy to let me bring my partner if I wanted. [All of this was reassuring to me, as I didn't know much about the "Midwest" culture, particularly outside of big cities].

I guess I'll throw out, though, that being newly out publicly, I had kinda hoping that it would be a total non-issue with my classmates when I arrived. And, for 90+%, it was. But, I did learn over the years that there were some people who were uncomfortable and/or flat out rude to me and/or my partner. But, there were no "major" incidents that bothered me. And, I also expect that the last decade has changed the culture a lot.

Residency / Fellowship: Again, I think *most* specialties in medicine are going to be fairly welcoming. Sure, psych, OB/Gyn, IM, FP are probably more so, and maybe some of the male-dominated surgical subspecialties are less so, but this is purely conjecture on my part. I was totally out during these interviews, and legally married in my state in 2009 (first round of applications was 2008 (IM) and second round 2013 (preventive medicine)). I don't think I had any bad "feelz" from any programs I applied to, and most offered to opportunities for my spouse to come along if we wanted.

Job seeking: I have been a little more selective in geography now than I probably would have been right after the Supreme Court ruling, because I'm a little worried about certain states' efforts to pass more restrictive laws. But, most importantly (for me) is just making sure that the people I'll be working with on a daily basis are a good match.
 
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fantasty

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TL;DR --- I don't even know why I posted this much because I didn't even fit to my original intention in starting the thread. But, in the most general sense, I guess I'm just saying that I think you folks currently applying to places will be mostly welcomed with open arms, but please let us know if there are places that are Utopian or places to avoid.

I will mentioned that one of my friends (along with another person who was a previous research collaborator) started an academic LGBT clinic at the University of Iowa (currently staffed by FP & IM, as well as great support), so that might tell you something about the academic environment. https://www.uihealthcare.org/lgbt/
 
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Guero

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Thanks for starting this thread @fantasty! I think it might be easiest to limit one thread per each topic (e.g., medical school = one thread, residency another, etc). That way the relevant information will remain well organized and easily found. :)


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fantasty

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Thanks for starting this thread @fantasty! I think it might be easiest to limit one thread per each topic (e.g., medical school = one thread, residency another, etc). That way the relevant information will remain well organized and easily found. :)


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Yeah - I was actually thinking about that in retrospect. Do you think I should split this one, or just let that happen as people respond (if they care to)?
 

toutou

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As a male nurse myself, nursing is definitely way more welcoming than any other fields I've ever come across. So far I haven't met any hostile folks in medicine either, but nursing has always been very out there in terms of acceptance.
 
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Guero

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Yeah - I was actually thinking about that in retrospect. Do you think I should split this one, or just let that happen as people respond (if they care to)?
Yeah, I think letting it happen naturally is best. Those with specific questions will inevitably create a thread as they arise. :) But the enthusiasm is becoming palpable; and I love it!
 

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As an incoming MS1, I can comment a little on med schools' LGBT acceptance.

Of the 19 schools I applied to, all of them seemed welcoming to me as a gay man. Both Vanderbilt and the University of Florida seemed to put the most effort into implementing LGBTQ student groups and support programs. Both schools also include it into their curriculum. I can't speak much outside of the 19 schools I applied to, but I have heard Yale works a lot to recruit LGBTQ students. I also assume most of the top 10 schools do the same.

Sometimes I see people say to not apply in the south, but most of the schools I applied to are in the south, and I have lived here my whole life. It's not as bad as people think it is down here.
 
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Amygdarya

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Here are some totally subjective impressions of someone who came out in medical school*:

1) Nursing seems to be very open to LGBT people. Physicians tend to be a little more conservative, but medicine in general is open to LGBT people, especially now that there is a push for diversity on many levels.

2) The most LGBT-friendly specialties are (in my opinion): psychiatry (atoning for its sins I guess), pediatrics, internal medicine - especially the infectious disease subspecialty (because of the HIV and LGBT community connection).

3) Regarding which medical schools/hospitals are most LGBT-friendly: as a general rule, and as could be expected, schools/hospitals in larger cities and more liberal parts of the country are more LGBT-friendly. Top places tend to be the most forward thinking and tend to promote diversity on the institutional level. Thus, the most LGBT-friendly medical schools I know of are Penn, Columbia, Cornell, NYU, Mount Sinai, Yale, UCSF, Stanford. NewYork-Prebsyterian hospital (both Columbia and Cornell campuses), Memorial Sloan-Ketterring Cancer Center, NYU-Langone and Bellevue and Mount Sinai affiliated hospitals are all very supportive of their LGBT employees.

* - I can't think of a safer and more supportive environment to come out than my med school. My mother, on the other hand...
 
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chad5871

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What do you guys think about being "out" to your patients? I got to talking with a patient and his wife today, and after about 15 minutes of conversation, they started asking about me and my plans for my future career, fellowship, etc. They asked me if I had any family I was taking with me to fellowship, and I told them my partner was going to come with me. It wasn't until later that I thought about it, and realized that's the first time I've ever really "come out" to a patient. It felt like I a very natural and normal thing to talk about -- I have a good relationship with this patient and enjoyed talking with them.

Should we feel compelled to hide our sexuality with our patients? It wouldn't be unacceptable for a heterosexual physician to mention their spouse in conversation with a patient, so why should I think twice?
 

Amygdarya

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What do you guys think about being "out" to your patients? I got to talking with a patient and his wife today, and after about 15 minutes of conversation, they started asking about me and my plans for my future career, fellowship, etc. They asked me if I had any family I was taking with me to fellowship, and I told them my partner was going to come with me. It wasn't until later that I thought about it, and realized that's the first time I've ever really "come out" to a patient. It felt like I a very natural and normal thing to talk about -- I have a good relationship with this patient and enjoyed talking with them.

Should we feel compelled to hide our sexuality with our patients? It wouldn't be unacceptable for a heterosexual physician to mention their spouse in conversation with a patient, so why should I think twice?
Just my personal opinion:
1) In general, I don't think physicians *have to* share anything about their personal lives with their patients. Notice that I wrote "have to" and not "should", by which I mean that sharing personal information with patients is neither right nor wrong, and it's entirely up to the physician and how comfortable they are sharing this information.
2) More specifically regarding being out to patients, I think it depends first and foremost on how confirtable you are with your sexual orientation/gender identity, and then on what local culture/your patient population are like. For reference, check out the attire thread in this subforum: I would keep a low profile in places/patient populations where you're expected to dress and behave more conservatively, and vice versa.

I'm lucky to be in NYC, and several of my classmates and I wear rainbow plastic ID badge clips (instead of the ones with our school or affiliated hospital logos) - we do it as an expression of our identities, and in support of our LGBT patients. But aside from from that, I wouldn't discuss my personal life with patients - but, again, this is just my personal preference, I don't think there is a right or wrong way. That said, I think I would keep a low profile in some parts of the country :(
 
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fantasty

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AMSA used to have a rainbow caduceus lapel pin that you could wear to let patients know your were "family" or at least an ally, so the community would feel more comfortable and welcomed. I imagine they still have them.

I started just using "spouse", which a fair number of my professor type friends use (gay or straight )
 
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Guero

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Yup, I own and wear that lapel pin daily. Even in the deep, conservative AF South, I've never encountered a problem. It's very subtle and inconspicuous except to those for whom it matters.


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otterxavier

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Haven't yet navigated this as a doctor, but I was an MA for several years prior to med school. When I worked at a women's health clinic, I didn't hesitate to refer to my boyfriend if the topic came up naturally in conversation, and sometimes did so strategically -- some patients were clearly more comfortable knowing that the guy who worked at their gynecologist's office was gay. When I worked in occ med, not so much. Maybe it was unfair stereotyping, but since I'm tiny and spent a lot of time alone in exam rooms with beefy construction workers, shaving chests for EKGs, observing urine drug screens, etc., it seemed safest not to be out. That said, I did have a small rainbow sticker on my name badge and had a handful of patients who were really excited to see that I'm "family."

Working with trans patients is more complicated, because I often want to signal that I'm "one of us" and haven't found a graceful way to do so. I know that for me as a patient, I don't necessarily assume that a rainbow pin/sticker means that someone is trans-friendly, and it makes a huge difference to know that there is a trans person on staff. My most recent job was in a small community where one doctor provides care for most trans patients in the state, so I had some luck remarking, "Oh, Dr. So-and-so is your PCP? She's my doctor too -- isn't she great?" That was almost always enough to tip people off.
 

Guero

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Haven't yet navigated this as a doctor, but I was an MA for several years prior to med school. When I worked at a women's health clinic, I didn't hesitate to refer to my boyfriend if the topic came up naturally in conversation, and sometimes did so strategically -- some patients were clearly more comfortable knowing that the guy who worked at their gynecologist's office was gay. When I worked in occ med, not so much. Maybe it was unfair stereotyping, but since I'm tiny and spent a lot of time alone in exam rooms with beefy construction workers, shaving chests for EKGs, observing urine drug screens, etc., it seemed safest not to be out. That said, I did have a small rainbow sticker on my name badge and had a handful of patients who were really excited to see that I'm "family."

Working with trans patients is more complicated, because I often want to signal that I'm "one of us" and haven't found a graceful way to do so. I know that for me as a patient, I don't necessarily assume that a rainbow pin/sticker means that someone is trans-friendly, and it makes a huge difference to know that there is a trans person on staff. My most recent job was in a small community where one doctor provides care for most trans patients in the state, so I had some luck remarking, "Oh, Dr. So-and-so is your PCP? She's my doctor too -- isn't she great?" That was almost always enough to tip people off.

I also wore a trans flag lapel pin for a few months (ordered from England). But it kept falling out :( This really irks me, too. I'm exquisitely eager to come out to those that identify as gender minorities or are questioning. And having a nice lapel pin like that is a sure-fire way to make those patients feel welcome and aware by default.

However, I did have a few standardized pts ask about that one. It was a bit more conspicuous than the caduceus. It also made me feel a little awkward since I wasn't out at the time. And honestly, I think it'd still make me feel awkward and unsafe considering the violence, intolerance, and my own victimization history in this state. But once I move to a more liberal and tolerant area, I intend to look for a replacement or make one if I can't find any others on the same quality level as AMSA's rainbow caduceus (kinda wish it was a rainbow Rod of Asklepius, though ).


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otterxavier

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I also wore a trans flag lapel pin for a few months (ordered from England). But it kept falling out :( This really irks me, too. I'm exquisitely eager to come out to those that identify as gender minorities or are questioning. And having a nice lapel pin like that is a sure-fire way to make those patients feel welcome and aware by default.

However, I did have a few standardized pts ask about that one. It was a bit more conspicuous than the caduceus. It also made me feel a little awkward since I wasn't out at the time. And honestly, I think it'd still make me feel awkward and unsafe considering the violence, intolerance, and my own victimization history in this state. But once I move to a more liberal and tolerant area, I intend to look for a replacement or make one if I can't find any others on the same quality level as AMSA's rainbow caduceus (kinda wish it was a rainbow Rod of Asklepius, though ).


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Yeah, I considered getting some kind of trans flag sticker/pin, but was concerned that if people didn't recognize it and asked what it was, it would end up being the opposite of subtle. I hear you about the Rod of Asklepius -- as a former Classics major that one always irks me ;)
 
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breezy16

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I wanted to put this in here as a quick aside, I am an M1 female and part of this community. I am the only female in our class at the moment who identifies openly as such -- the other 10-15 in my class (and the class above mine) are all queer males.
We all realize recognize this as an issue, but very little that we can do to recruit more evenly across the LGBTQ spectrum. (Also, as an aside, most females tend to be more openly fluid than males who are very much more either or, so maybe females don't feel the need to identify)
I want to say for those applying now, later, soon, whatever: let it be known in your apps! I think its a huge diversity boost and admins are looking for it, I know we students absolutely are. (Obviously, only if you're comfortable)
My school (NE/Southern border essentially) is fantastically accepting and I haven't had anyone bat an eyelash. Very open and accepting in my class, from my older peers, and from the faculty.
On that note, shoot for the stars when you're applying if you have the extra funds. Schools are looking for us and it adds tremendously to the class.
(I hope this is helpful)
 
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Guero

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I wanted to put this in here as a quick aside, I am an M1 female and part of this community. I am the only female in our class at the moment who identifies openly as such -- the other 10-15 in my class (and the class above mine) are all queer males.
We all realize recognize this as an issue, but very little that we can do to recruit more evenly across the LGBTQ spectrum. (Also, as an aside, most females tend to be more openly fluid than males who are very much more either or, so maybe females don't feel the need to identify)
I want to say for those applying now, later, soon, whatever: let it be known in your apps! I think its a huge diversity boost and admins are looking for it, I know we students absolutely are. (Obviously, only if you're comfortable)
My school (NE/Southern border essentially) is fantastically accepting and I haven't had anyone bat an eyelash. Very open and accepting in my class, from my older peers, and from the faculty.
On that note, shoot for the stars when you're applying if you have the extra funds. Schools are looking for us and it adds tremendously to the class.
(I hope this is helpful)

This is extraordinarily helpful. Thank you so much for sharing! FWIW, I was DMAB and have been discovering I'm a lot more fluid than most identifying as MtF trans that were AMAB or DMAB (intersex, like myself). And I, too, have noticed that identity seems a little less common as you noted. But I think if we paid more attention to particularly liberal or tolerant areas, we'd find that the gap actually closes once we incorporate and survey the more androgynously presenting crowd. ;)


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Romz

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As a male nurse myself, nursing is definitely way more welcoming than any other fields I've ever come across. So far I haven't met any hostile folks in medicine either, but nursing has always been very out there in terms of acceptance.

Pardon my ignorance, but you've posted a few pictures of yourself before in a particular thread and I thought you to be a beautiful asian woman, yet in the quoted post you refer to yourself as a man. Are you also a member of the LGBTQ community?
 

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AMSA used to have a rainbow caduceus lapel pin that you could wear to let patients know your were "family" or at least an ally, so the community would feel more comfortable and welcomed. I imagine they still have them.

I started just using "spouse", which a fair number of my professor type friends use (gay or straight )

I like the spouse word as is general
 
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foreverbull

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I do want to chime in from "the outside" as a psychologist. In our field, being LGBTQIQ is now considered an asset like identifying as an ethnic minority, etc. because our field celebrates diversity and our field tends to promote and advance diversity-related discourse/theory in the past 2-3 decades. That said, like psychiatry, we also have the ugly history of considering LGBT identity as a mental disorder until the 1970s.

As a gay woman, I felt safe to out myself in graduate school because it was in a Midwestern school in a medium-sized city. During my interview day there, a current male student talking to prospective students conspicuously wore a rainbow bracelet, and it made me feel very welcome. Such a simple little gesture made a big difference!

In my experiences with medical care, I find myself wanting to be more cautious about outing myself if I meet with doctors/nurses who are older white males, but I'm always honest if asked regarding relationships for sexual health, etc. I've experienced discrimination once from a male nurse (who was older, white, and male), but overall, am happy to see that the vast majority of folks don't even bat an eye if I say "my wife" when sexual health, etc questions come up. So I'm glad to see that the mindset is shifting and has been shifting in the medical field for awhile, although a few more narrow-minded medical folks in here like to troll the LGBTQ folks from time to time, which is a bit of a shock to see sometimes.

Regardless, as someone experiencing medicine from the outside as a gay female patient, the medical field is becoming more open as a whole, which is exciting.
 

fantasty

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I thought there was a harassment thread here --- maybe I'm thinking of the microaggressions thread. But, just wondering if this happens to y'all. And, I have a lot of complex feeling about what's going on in real time about sexual harassment in the workplace and #metoo and speakers being able to come forward with their issues without fear of retaliation. But, also the worries about this during into the Crucible and people getting unfairly accused of things.

But, the mental dump I meant for today.... I'm currently working in 5 facilities. Details would take forever and I have posted in various places since taking this job. But, synopsis is that "my group" [as in, the local staff of our company for this region] includes only myself and women who are NPs or PAs. Everyone in my group knows about JB [husband], and we're actually talking about bringing him on as administrative staff. The administration and majority of higher up nursing staff at each facility knows directly. And, considering the amount of gossip at these places, I'm nearly 100% certain that this means everyone knows [which is fine... I don't have qualms about being openly out... it's just not the biggest thing on my mind at my job... ever].

But, I do believe in gaydar, so having me in a highly visible position does make some people feel more at least about dropping little signs that they are family. And, most of the facility social workers have the Safe Zone type materials to make sure staff and patients know that there are people around to talk to.

But, there are few guys here and there who are married [to women] who seem excessively "flirty" for lack of a better word. And, I can't tell if they are just trying to go out of their way to show "Hey, we're cool with it"... versus "Hey, I'm on the down-low." But, one nurse in particular.... he is just too handsy for me to be comfortable. And, at first, I was sure he was trying to send signals. But, I've now observed him and he is pretty much like that with everyone (male, female, single, attached). He's an incredibly "close talker" so he's always in my personal space. But, he's "very hard of hearing" and does that to everybody. But, he hovers close to my desk when no one's around. And, he's frequently a hands on the shoulder or back when you're sitting at a computer.

Maybe it is a bit of extension of "male privilege" that I haven't paid that much attention to how often this happens. I mean, I'm not naturally a very "touchy feely" person, but I grew up working with old Italian guys who did kind of behave the same way (not flirty, but handsy... shoulder rubs, pats on the back, etc). And, although it makes me a little uncomfortable... having the conversation telling him I'm uncomfortable would be so much more uncomfortable. But, it's probably the appropriate thing to do.
 
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