Reflections of the 2017-18 student leadership fellows
Each year, the LBGT PA Caucus chooses PA students to participate in the Student Leadership Fellows program. This program includes a scholarship to allow the fellows to attend the annual AAPA Conference, as well a a year-long mentorship program, developed and led by LBGT PA Caucus members.
Student fellows are chosen through a competitive selection process that includes an essay, interview, and recommendations of teachers or supervisors. Fellows are selected based on the following qualities: integrity, service, leadership, inspiration/overcoming adversity, financial need, innovation, and knowledge, skills and abilities. You can learn more about the Fellowship program here.
The Caucus has asked the students to reflect on their experiences as a Student Leadership Fellow. We invite you to read their responses below.
When I was first chosen as a Student Leadership Fellow for the LGBT PA Caucus, I was both humbled and honored. The Caucus represents everything I stand for and believe in, and I connected with so many amazing individuals who embody these values. From the first day at the conference last May, I felt so welcomed by members of the Caucus. I felt like a part of a community.
What I enjoyed most about the conference was seeing how many people came up to our booth seeking guidance on working with patients from the LGBT community. In my experience as a patient, so few providers ask the pertinent questions or are even comfortable talking about sexuality and gender. It’s been assumed so many times that I am heterosexual, and has even been documented as such. I was surprised by how many providers came to our booth.
I was also very pleased by the turn out to the HIV CME. There are so many providers who are so out of date as far as HIV treatment and prevention go. They don’t know how to initiate PrEP and don’t talk to their high risk patients about it. The seminar was so informative and provided clinicians the tools and resources that they need. It was very apparent that this information needs to be readily available.
I left the conference with a renewed hope in the future of patient care. We still have a lot of work to do as far as educating providers on the approach to seeing patients from the LGBT community, but the Caucus is making a lot of progress.
My goal as part of the Caucus is to make resources readily available for PAs hoping to provide culturally competent healthcare to their LGBT patients. I’m not sure exactly what form this will take, but I was hoping to work on a digital CME that would be linked on our website.
Vicki Wong, CUNY School of Medicine, New York, NY
Check out Vicki's creative talent in the video she produced during her experience at AAPA 2017 in Las Vegas.
Remember: Medicine is an art and a science.