The Gay Straight Medical Alliance at Yale School of Medicine seeks to organize, defend, and serve the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community at Yale's health professional schools, including the school of medicine, school of nursing, PA program, and department of epidemiology and public health. To that end, the group organizes events such as dinner speaker series, educational films and activities, and social events of interest to the LGBT community. As well, the Gay Straight Medical Alliance is actively involved in reforming the medical curriculum to equip young medical health leaders with knowledge, experience, and understanding to be advocates for LGBTQ health equality.
To this end, this year we invited national LGBT health equality expert Shane Snowdon, Director of UCSF's LGBT Resource center, to speak with the Yale Medical School community and to meet with Deans, Faculty, and Hospital Administration about how the Yale School of Medicine can build on our successes in making the climate, curriculum, admissions, hospital training, and patient care more inclusive and supportive of LGBTQ people and their health needs. We had many productive meetings, and now our challenge is to implement forward thinking recommendations in the 2012-2013 school year.
The Phagocytes organization was created in the fall of 2004 to remedy a perceived lack of organization and community among the LGBT health professional schools at Yale. Formerly, a group called the Lambda Health Alliance had existed at Yale but had gradually become less active over time. In 2007 the Phagocytes added "Gay-Straight Medical Alliance." Although the group originally consisted mainly of self-identified LGBT students and allies at the medical school, it has since expanded to include students from the other health professional schools at Yale, resident and attending physicians, as well as Yale School of Medicine staff and administration.
Gay @ Yale Med and in New Haven
One of the great advantages of attending medical school at a world-class university like Yale is the incredible richness and diversity of the other academic programs on campus. In addition to the Phagocytes, there are LGBT organizations representing the law, management, divinity, graduate, and undergraduate schools, links to which can be found on the Resources page. Many of these organizations hold events that are open to the entire university community.
Connecticut is home to a long tradition of tolerance and advocacy for human rights. In 2008, Connecticut joined Massachusetts as one of two states in the U.S. to perform marriages of same-sex couples. New Haven, CT is becoming increasingly well known as a destination for LGBT people throughout southern New England. New Haven is home to wonderful art galleries, delicious restaurants, beautiful symphonies, worldclass museums, and also boasts a vibrant LGBT nightlife scene. All these attractions are literally steps away from campus, meaning that LGBT Yalies who need a break from their books don't need to work hard in order to find a social life in the Elm City.
Of course, for those who crave the hustle and bustle on a larger scale, New York is just a train-ride away. In less than 2 hours and for only $15, you can be living it up in the cultural, epicurean, and fashion capital of America. New Haven's close proximity to New York makes it easy for even the most die-hard of med students to have a fabulous weekend away with plenty of time to get back for Monday morning histology lab.