Sunday, October 04, 2009


I missed the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association conference last year, or this one would have been my fifth.  At this point, I’ve been to enough of their conferences that I can say that this was one of the best in terms of programming.  Though some of the sessions can seem a bit repetitive (largely because there are health issues that we just can’t seem to successfully beat, like HIV and smoking), this year there were some new perspectives and lots of excitement. 

I attended a number of talks by healthcare providers and activists who are thinking about the delivery of transgender healthcare in interesting ways – whether working with insurance companies to demonstrate that trans-inclusive policies do not actually end up costing companies much extra money at all, or working loosely with the standards of care to create an informed consent model that gives patients a greater degree of autonomy and control in their care, they are pushing to make the world a healthier and safer place. 

I also heard more sessions this year dealing with intersections of identities (like age, race, and sexuality, among others) and how those intersections affect health in unique ways.  I was heartened to see some discussion of the resiliency of youth, while I was saddened by the continued realities of high rates of depression and suicide among our young people. 

It was also lovely to touch base with the UMMS BGLAM folks again – I tend to get a bit out of touch since I’m not physically in the medical school right now.  In addition, I got to see Liz Eaman, illustrious UMMS alum, family medicine resident, and GLMA board member.  She is always inspiring and wonderful, and it was great to see her again.  Rounding out my social calendar were Tanya, Brian H., and Aaron P., all of whom are interns this year, seeing patients, saving lives, and sleeping when they can. 

Overall, it was lovely.  I returned home feeling inspired (although wary of the volume of unaddressed e-mail in my box) and ready to get back to work…

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