PRIDE and Primary Care Progress host LGBTQ+ advocacy speaker
Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine's student clubs Physicians Representing Inclusivity, Diversity and Equality (PRIDE) and Primary Care Progress recently had a chance to meet and ask questions of Pa. Rep. Brian Sims of Philadelphia.
Rep. Sims is the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s first openly gay House member. The event was held via Zoom on May 6.
Rep. Sims talked to the students about finding their passion and ways to be involved in their community, even as busy medical and graduate students.
“Rep. Sims talked about the legislation he has sponsored, particularly his push for private insurance to cover PReP, or pre-exposure prophylaxis, to prevent HIV,” said Oliver Fox, MD Class of 2023, the new president of PRIDE. “He also discussed how LGBTQ protections vary widely across communities in Pennsylvania. His main message was that we, as future doctors, should stand up for things we believe in and advocate for our communities, especially marginalized communities. That message resonated with me because I am interested in child psychiatry and the lack of access to mental healthcare is an issue I’d like to address.”
Makayla Dearborn, MD Class of 2023 and PRIDE secretary, also found Rep. Sims’ talk inspiring. “I have a bachelor’s degree in policy studies,” she said. “And I am very interested in community advocacy. Rep. Sims urged us to be involved and talked about ways we can get involved even while we are so busy as medical students. We can all support community groups and agencies, volunteer and spread the word about candidates we believe in.”