September 18, 2017 by
On Sunday, September 10, Class of 2020 students Jenna Morris, Eli Goldberg, and Zachary Silberman and Pam Gibson, Associate Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine participated in the Burlington, VT Pride Parade. The students are leaders of UVM Larner College of Medicine's Gender & Sexuality Alliance (GSA) and Gibson is their faculty advisor. This is the fifth year the GSA has marched in the parade alongside the UVM undergrad LGBTQ center staff and students and Morris says she thinks that the turnout this year was the largest she's seen.
Morris, Goldberg, and Silberman were joined by 11 fellow medical students, a staff member from the UVM Medical Center, friends, and even two fur-friends as they handed out rainbow stickers and car decals to onlookers and other attendees.
Morris, who has marched in the parade twice now does so not only because of the encouragement, support, and happiness that surrounds the events, but also because she believes that "a lot of people watching the parade appreciate that their future physicians and health care workers are open-minded and stand for inclusivity." She adds, "I think that physician-patient trust and rapport can be improved if the patient feels their physician is understanding of whatever their differing gender identity and sexual orientation may be."
The GSA works to build a more inclusive environment at the College, one fosters "a nurturing and supportive environment for transgender, bisexual, lesbian, gay, and ally students, and to ensure all students have the skills and resources to become skilled health care providers for people of all genders and sexual orientations.