Northwell Health Osler Society Top Stories Zucker School of Medicine

Medical students learn how to treat, not judge, transgender patients

Martine Gutierrez, Line Up 5, 2014. (c) Martine Gutierrez; Courtesy of the artist and RYAN LEE Gallery, New York.
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Written by Lisa Martin, JD
Program Manager, Humanities in Medicine
Zucker School of Medicine

The Osler Society of the Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell hosted an evening of fine art and intense dialogue on transgender treatment and health care. The humanities in medicine program, held on Nov. 7, began at the Emily Lowe Gallery at the Hofstra University Museum with a guided conversation of the exhibit, Converging Voices, Gender and Identity, and was followed by a lecture and discussion led by David Rosenthal, DO, PhD, director of the Center for Transgender Care at Northwell Health.

The program at the Museum included observation of a series of photographic works entitled, Lineups (2014), by Martine Gutierrez, in which the artist is posed and dressed to perfectly blend in with groupings of “flawless” females (mannequins). Hofstra University Museum Director, Nancy Richner, encouraged participants to examine gender and question how society has shaped the way we identify ourselves and others.

“The Hofstra University Museum is more than a place for exhibiting `stuff,’ we are a place where works of art can serve to engage people in difficult conversations about complex topics, where multiple perspectives can be shared and examined,” Ms. Richner explained. “It was an honor for the Museum to be included in this important program.”

Following the art tour, Dr. Rosenthal engaged attendees in a conversation about the state of available healthcare for the LGBTQ+ community and set forth Northwell’s mission of integrating all aspects of care into his program which focuses on making patients feel welcome, safe and well-cared for, and not judged.

“Since Northwell Health launched the Center for Transgender Care, we have been engaging with patients and helping them improve their healthcare,” said Dr. Rosenthal. “This program is an outstanding example about how we can also impact students at Hofstra’s many schools. The students asked phenomenal, insightful questions, and were incredibly engaged about how our Center for Transgender Care provides patient-centric services to the Trans community in our region. It was a pleasure to interface the arts with sciences and discuss the comprehensive care of patients of the transgender experience.”

The more than 75 people in attendance included Zucker School of Medicine students, Hofstra undergraduate students, faculty and staff, and Northwell Health physicians, nurses and therapists.

“Instead of focusing solely on the specific medical challenges, the initial art exhibit allowed people to consider the overall challenges of gender identity and the stereotypes associated with them in society,” said Colin Crilly, a second-year student at Zucker School of Medicine. “I think it helped people to better humanize rather than pathologize trans individuals as we continued to learn about all the incredible work that is being done at the Transgender Health Center.”

For more information about this event and others hosted by the Osler Society at the Zucker School of Medicine, please contact Lisa Martin, program manager, humanities in medicine at Lisa.B.Martin@hofstra.edu, or visit online at medicine.hofstra.edu/about/osler.

About the author

Adrienne Stoller

Adrienne Stoller is communications manager at the Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell. For more information about news items or media inquiries, please send a message to Adrienne.M.Stoller@hofstra.edu or call 516-463-7585.

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