Diverse representation is important for any industry, but if a patient doesn’t feel comfortable sharing their sexual or gender identity with their physician, the doctor might not know what questions to ask or have the wrong idea about a symptom.
A lack of visibility and inclusiveness already puts LGBTQ+ patients on edge, but quality care is unlikely if they don’t feel like they can share their entire medical history. This is why clinics like the GENECIS Clinic at Children’s Health exist. The transgender pediatric clinic offers gender-affirming care and provides a space where transgender youth can feel accepted and comfortable. But the fact the clinic exists is evidence that many patients (especially children sitting with their parents) don’t feel comfortable sharing their whole selves with their provider.
There is a need for LGBTQ leadership and visibility on the business side of healthcare as well. Jason Bellet is the co-founder of Eko, which makes AI-enabled smart stethoscopes and applies machine learning to diagnose heart and lung disease. He came out to friends and a supportive family in 2012 in college but said he effectively went back into the closet when he entered the healthcare field. “I didn’t want my sexual orientation to be known, and I avoided calling my partner my partner. I called him my friend. I avoided mannerisms that could come across as gay.”
Read more at D Magazine