By Thea Marshall, Staff Writer-
The most recent MEDTalk highlighted the lack of help the LGBTQ+ community receives from healthcare providers.
“Health and Access to Care for the LGBTQ+” was held through Zoom on March 12. Pre-health advisor, Theresa Blackman, hosted the event with help from the history department as a co-sponsor.
The event featured Brianna Patterson, a current health educator at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Patterson discussed the health disparity factors for the LGBTQ community, solutions for these issues, and difficulties she faces in the healthcare system.
Patterson said the LGBTQ+ community can face discrimination, violence, difficulty getting access to care, and lack of support. She proved these factors by describing an instance where she got fired as a primary care patient due to being transgender.
Participants said they were surprised this could happen and asked questions on the instance.
“I go to the doctor and I tell my physician what’s going on, and it never occurred to me that could be something a physician does not want to help me with anymore,” said Blackman. “It shows my privilege how I was surprised that patients could be fired so easily.”
Patterson said the difficulty of finding health programs and the lack of conversation surrounding them are the biggest setbacks for the LGBTQ+ community. She said the greatest success has been the Affordable Care Act because doctors could not refuse patients immediately.
Blackman said her inspiration for this topic came from the important discussions on the Black Lives Matter movement.
“I hope participants now have a desire to learn more and listen,” Blackman said. “I hope they are inspired to go out and see if there are more ways that access to healthcare is limited for the LGBTQ+ community.”
There are more MEDTalk events coming this semester. For more information on those events and more, visit here.