By Marilyn McLeod, MD, FACEP, FAEMS, Facility Medical Director, Emergency Medicine
Pride Month gives us the opportunity to celebrate our successes, grieve our failures and plan for our future work. We have made so much progress in improving recognition for fairness and understanding for the LGBTQ+ community. Yet, too often the headlines we see are of ongoing instances of discrimination towards the LGBTQ+ community. This discrimination is disheartening, to say the least, and emphasizes to me that we will never completely eliminate discrimination and violence against the LGBTQ+ community. However, we should all continue to work towards ending discrimination in all forms.
When I first became a facility medical director (FMD) in Memphis, I had difficulty determining how one of my scribes identified. He and I spoke about his fear of changing to his male name at work because of his concern for the staff’s response. I was able to support him and ensure his protection at work. He went by his male name that day. I so enjoyed watching him mature for a few years, and now he has just finished his first year of medical school. I hope one day the barriers and fears he had will not exist. I am reassured in knowing that as he moves into higher levels of training, he absolutely brings more acceptance to other members of his team.
This year my focus will be to help the younger members of the LGBTQ+ community to combat discrimination. So many paved my way with all their work throughout the years. My hope is that our work now will teach us to be stronger and less influenced by those who revel in speaking out or harming us. I have learned that my opinion of myself and the opinion of those who truly know me are what matters the most.
Finding Support in Life and Work
I came out to my daughter, Jamie, when she was 14. Her only concern was telling me that it didn’t affect her, and that I was the best Mom. She has never had any bias toward the LGBTQ+ community because I never taught it to her. Jamie and I like to spend time together, mainly outdoors. She, her husband and I often go off-roading at our off-grid land. My partner, Jennifer, and I enjoy the outdoors in additional ways – golfing, boating and drinking wine.
I am thrilled to be co-chairing TeamHealth’s new Southeast Group (SEG) Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee with Tiffany Tavarez, Vice President of Operations, Southeast Group. We are putting together the committee currently and look forward to expanding the support for our diverse communities that I have personally felt. For example, I attended the President’s Awards and Gala VIP Reception with TeamHealth leaders, and I never questioned or worried about my decision to wear a tuxedo. I think that speaks volumes about the TeamHealth support for the LBGTQ+ community.
TeamHealth Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
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