As we celebrate PRIDE Month, I took the opportunity to sit down with current LGBTQ-PM president Adam Dykie to learn more about him and the organization.
Can you tell me a little about yourself and how you ended up at Drexel University College of Medicine (DUCOM)?
Well, I'm fairly local. I'm from Reading, PA. I did my undergraduate education at Ursinus and came directly to Drexel for medical school after graduation. As I was researching medical schools, I really liked DUCOM's program and curriculum as well as the school's location in Philadelphia. After I was admitted, I came to Accepted Students' Day and began to make connections at the Student Organization Fair. I met members of the LGBTQ-PM group that day and remember feeling grateful knowing that Drexel had great representation and a commitment to diversity and inclusion. I also had the opportunity to interact with faculty and was impressed by their passion for teaching and working with students. When I arrived in the fall as a first-year med student, I wasn't sure how much time I would have to get involved, but I still wanted to explore that option. I was invited to the Welcome Brunch hosted by the LGBTQ-PM group and the Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion and really enjoyed it. I felt welcomed and heard, so I really wanted to see where the group was going. I decided to just get involved and jump in as much as I could, which has led to my current position as the group's president.
Tell me more about LGBTQ-PM.
LGBTQ Professionals in Medicine is a student organization committed to creating a safe space for LGBTQ identifying students. One of our goals is to educate our DUCOM community on issues our students face and how it relates to medicine. We also help connect current students with mentors in the clinical space who also identify as LGBTQ. Some of our activities this year included an LGBTQ Symposium (in collaboration with our psychology residents) where we brought physicians and health-care practitioners to campus to talk about the health needs of the LGBTQ population. This year's symposium focused on transgender health. We've also collaborated with OB/GYN physicians to conduct a pelvic exam workshop. As I mentioned earlier, we host the LGBTQ Welcome Brunch to welcome new students and introduce them to upper-class students. For Diversity Week, we hosted a movie screening of Milk.
During my year as president, I hope to further develop our "brown bag discussions" where we invite the DUCOM community to engage in conversation on different topics. Our most recent discussion featured LGBTQ representation in media. The turnout was great, and the discussion provided another medium to educate our community. I'm hoping to provide our students with more opportunities to shadow LGBTQ clinicians or providers to see what it means to be a provider for our community. I'm really looking forward to getting involved with PRIDE month. We marched in this year's Philly PRIDE Parade and that helps us continue to raise awareness.
What would you like the community to know?
There's so much more to consider these days when it come to the health and wellness of all members of our community including the LGBTQ population. As medical students, clinicians and practitioners, it is really important to be open-minded in understanding the needs of our different communities and patient populations. I'd like to encourage everyone to engage and participate all year round, and not just during PRIDE Month. A few ways that people can get involved include:
- Attending local events that educate and promote LGBTQ issues;
- Volunteering at various LGBTQ serving organizations; and
- Learning about PRIDE history and LGBTQ activists such as Marsha P. Johnson.
Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion