Students drive medicine to be more inclusive, accessible
According to a recent Gallup poll, it is estimated that more than 10 million Americans identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, a group that has been historically marginalized in health care. Third-year MSTP student Hadrian is determined to change that. Here, Hadrian answers nine questions about the U-M LGBTQ Health Network he co-founded and why he’s excited about pursuing an MD/PhD at Michigan.
Before I came to U-M, Adam Eickmeyer had helped to establish a LGBTQ workforce group in the health system. Adam and I talked about finding a way to grow this group and bring together people at Michigan Medicine and in the community to increase dialogue around areas of need and areas of progress. We hoped to find way that people who cared could be a part of the conversation in a fairly low commitment manner.
Currently we have a listserv that people can join and aim to host a group meeting every semester. We send out notes from these meetings and also pass along information that people want to share with the network. Every month we send out an email with information in the following categories: health system updates, research, conferences, news and events. Adam and I run this network, and we have around 250 people on our listserv.
Our mission has been fairly straightforward: promote dialogue, share updates and help chart future directions for LGBTQ health at Michigan Medicine. We are not, however, responsible for all of the LGBTQ health projects in this system. We have tried to build a sustainable structure to support progress.
Although we have some services focused on LGBTQ patient populations, Michigan Medicine has room to improve and expand with regards to LGBTQ health. My goal for the LGBTQ Health Network is to bring more voices to the table to help chart our future directions.
I began full-time PhD work in the summer of 2017. I had already completed one graduate course and a research rotation during my first two years of medical school from 2015–2017.
The people in the MSTP, including the students and leadership, were a major draw. In addition, there’s a great community of researchers here doing work in the reproductive/endocrine areas, which was something I was interested in being a part of moving forward. Michigan was also a great educational fit for myself and my partner.
Medicine is complicated, beautiful and messy, and I’m excited about patient care. In addition, PhD training offers me the opportunity to learn deeply about specific topics as well as to develop skills around project design and writing. I appreciate being able to be a part of both worlds.
I have felt supported in exploring my interests and in choosing a lab. In particular, the director, Dr. Ron Koenig, and assistant director, Justine Hein, check in with us periodically to help make sure we are on track. It has also been helpful having connections and sharing wisdom with other MSTP students across classes.
I rowed through college, and I’m enjoying rediscovering rowing with the Ann Arbor Rowing Club. I also enjoy camping trips, hiking, exploring Michigan lakes, cooking and spending time with my partner and our cat.