Homosexuality was listed as a disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) until 1973, while Gender Dysphoria is currently listed in the DSM-V. Although we are moving away from treating LGBTQ individuals as inherently pathological, we are still neglecting the healthcare needs of those who fall into sexuality and gender minorities. For example, did you know that lesbians are at a higher risk for breast cancer and heart disease, while gay men are affected by depression and anxiety more than their heterosexual counterparts? Are you aware that suicidal ideation is reported among 38-65% of transgender people? While these statistics may be shocking, we are all informed about the marginalization of the LGBTQ community. As our social structures progress, the medical community lags far behind. The majority of queer people in the U.S. are not receiving the healthcare or medical attention they need and deserve.
Due to the prevalence of this issue and the importance of providing healthcare to every population, QPAAM was started. QPAAM stands for ‘Queer People and Allies for the Advancement of Medicine’, and is currently a subgroup of the Brown Queer Alliance. The goal of this group is for Brown students to learn, understand, and interact with the healthcare needs of individuals who do not fall into gender or sexuality majorities. As most medical school curricula fail to address the needs of these undeserved populations, aspiring physicians should have a deep interest in and understanding of the socio-health and medical needs of these vulnerable and often slighted groups. QPAAM strives to close this gap, and to provide education for Brown students in the often-overlooked healthcare needs of LGBTQ people through scientific, clinical, and activist lenses.
Currently, QPAAM is working to develop training and curriculum for various institutions to use in educating people about LGBTQ healthcare. Two of our projects this semester involve Warren Alpert Medical School and Psychological Services at Brown. QPAAM also looks forward to hosting student-led seminars on various topics in LBGTQ Healthcare and bringing guest speakers who are involved in LGBTQ Healthcare in the near future.
QPAAM currently meets on Sunday’s at 6 pm in the LGBTQ center, although this is subject to change. If you are interested in becoming involved with QPAAM or if you have any questions, please contact Morgan Cheatham at Morgan_Cheatham@brown.edu.