My name is Jamie Weinand, and I am a second-year medical student at the Boston University School of Medicine. I am so grateful to Point Foundation for making it possible for me to attend this year's annual Gay and Lesbian Medical Association (GLMA) conference in Baltimore, Maryland! I would not have been able to attend this conference without Point's generous support of the ticket cost, and I am indebted to them for this experience! This was my first-ever medical conference, as well as my first time in Baltimore.
The highlight of the conference for me was getting to see my Point Foundation mentor, Dr. Jennifer Potter, present alongside of Ida Berstein and Sarah Peitzmeier from Fenway Health "If you have it, check it," a lecture-discussion and interactive session about how to facilitate the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) cervical cancer screenings (one method known as the "Pap" test), for folks along the FTM spectrum who still retain a cervix. I was blown away by both the presentation from my mentor's colleagues at the Fenway Institute as well as the discussion from the lively and knowledgeable group at GLMA made up of people who work at many great LGBTQI health centers around the world! These included from the "Check it Out, Guys" program in Toronoto, another group working with FTM spectrum individuals and cervical cancer screening, the Mazzoni Center in Philly, Callen-Lourde in New York City and Whitman-Walker in Washinton, D.C. just to name a few! (Did you know there are so many awesome LGBT health clinics? I've only recently learned throughout the last couple of years - and it's great to see so many!)
I learned a lot of interesting and new things in this discussion, which I hope to use going forward as a medical student and in my future practice one day, some of which included:
- While it should be possible to get the Pap test covered for any gender identity due to the prevalence of HPV screening, sometimes insurance companies will question the test coverage if the sex assigned at birth is female - therefore, it is also possible to simply tell the insurance company that it is an anal Pap exam which insurance covers for a wide range of gender identities, including masculine of center.
- A great way to ask about sexual history, as suggested by one the attendees, could be: "What type of sex are you having, and what goes where?" In essence, removing all assumptions or provider-language around genitals, body parts, and types of sex - and allowing the patient to use their own language to describe their own sex and body parts (and then as the provider repeating that same language and using it throughout the interview).
- A link to the PDF brochure for FTM spectrum folks and cervical cancer screening created by the Fenway Institute can be found here.
Medical school education with LGBTQ health topics is still evolving. Unfortunately, LGBTQ health issues are not taught alongside standardized class content — although schools (such as my own, BUSM!) are certainly trying to incorporate more LGBTQ content now and for the future. Thanks to conferences like GLMA and through the support of Point Foundation, I am able to learn about LGBTQ health in this way! Thank you, again, from the bottom of my heart to Point Foundation for letting me attend this conference. I can't imagine practicing medicine and not knowing some of the key health concerns for the LGBTQ community.
|This post was written by Rosen Goertz Point Scholar Jamie Weinand
|Jamie is from Tucson, Arizona, and is a current medical student at Boston University. Jamie took a year off before medical school to work in Mexico City at UNAM, and is currently interested in health advocacy for marginalized communities as well as pro-bono health care. Learn more about Jamie.