Promoting and Implementing Size Inclusivity in Health Care

By Jamie M. Marchetti, MS, RDN, LD
March 14, 2019

Beth was obese. She had been bigger her whole life, so this was not news as she reached her late-twenties. Beth ( her name has been changed to protect her privacy) was getting married and ready to start a family, so she went to her obstetrician/gynecologist to have her intrauterine device (IUD) removed and to discuss the implications of her polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) on fertility. The doctor scoffed and stated, “I don’t know how we’re going to get it out. At your size, I’m not even sure how they managed to get the IUD into you.” Further, it was discovered that Beth had grapefruit-sized cysts on both ovaries, and the doctor told her that neither he nor any doctor would do surgery to remove the cysts given her body size. Beth was desperate, so through her hurt and anger, she chose a crash diet to follow, which resulted in acute renal failure within weeks. Heartbroken and at the end of her rope, Beth found herself crying in a dietitian’s office, convinced that the well-balanced diet she was already eating must be harming her since doctors insisted she must not be nourishing herself properly if she wasn’t losing weight. Beth explained that she was content with her body, but that she was tired of seeking medical care and being treated poorly because of her size. Continue reading “Promoting and Implementing Size Inclusivity in Health Care”

Caring for Patients Using Sign Language: The ADA Legacy of George H.W. Bush

By Ami Bhatt, MD, FACC
December 6, 2018

On July 26, 1990, President George H. W. Bush signed into law the Americans with Disabilities Act. The ADA was touted for promoting health as well as civil rights.

I learned first-hand about the experience of patients with disabilities by caring for patients with concomitant congenital deafness and congenital heart disease. I am fortunate to have cared for a cadre of these patients with a dedicated sign language interpreter over the past decade. She represented me to the patients and the patients to me. Importantly, in addition to translating language, she expressed the tone of voice and achieved the delivery of emotions which are essential to effective and compassionate communication. She was also a trusted partner in my practice of medicine. Since she also knew my patients’ histories, I could trust her to accompany the patient at other doctors’ visits, to help the patient communicate what I had shared, and vice versa. Continue reading “Caring for Patients Using Sign Language: The ADA Legacy of George H.W. Bush”

Caring for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Patients and Families

By Carl G Streed Jr, MD
March 1, 2018

According to a recent national survey by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, 18 percent of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) Americans do not seek medical care for fear of discrimination. The results highlight an ongoing dilemma in healthcare; we cannot provide competent and compassionate care for those who fear us. Continue reading “Caring for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Patients and Families”