Pride in health care: we must lead the way in safe, compassionate care for all
June 14, 2021
As you may know, June is designated as Pride Month. Parades, rainbow flags and other displays of pride are popping up all over America.
This month is dedicated to celebrating the lives and accomplishments of LGBTQ+ communities. While there are many things to cherish and salute, we must remember that prejudice and ignorance are still very real obstacles faced by LGBTQ+ people.
A doctor’s office should be a safe place for people to go and receive care. Historically, medicine has been behind the curve, focusing on heteronormative standards and expectations. Consequently, many LGBTQ+ folks have experienced and continue to experience false assumptions, uncomfortable encounters and outdated medical terminology in the medical field.
Thankfully, times are changing! There is increasing, widespread focus on training regarding implicit bias, stereotypes and LGBTQ+ care. Health care practices are evolving with conscientious, inclusive language and more thoughtful interactions.
Although June is a great month for LGBTQ+ celebration and visibility, we should be honoring pride throughout the year. These wonderfully diverse groups contribute so much to our world and are a priceless component of our society.
Every person has the right to receive safe, compassionate care and to form a meaningful provider-patient relationship. Physicians and health care providers must recognize the inherent value of every individual, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. We must lead by example, spearheading the progress toward empathetic care for all.
While we cherish the differences that make us unique, Pride Month is built around an ethos of inclusion. Discrimination and inequity are still everyday realities for too many people. Our only option is to continue this march toward equality hand-in-hand, with open minds and loving hearts.
Stay well and stay together,
Chris Mann, M.D.