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Creating a safe space and community for LGBTQ+ students

As part of Pride Month, we sat down with the team behind OMSA PRISM, the Ochsner Medical Student Association interest group focusing on the representation of LGBTQ+ students.
Community engagement
Published 5 Jun, 2023  ·  2 minutes

What is OMSA Prism and when was it created?

OMSA PRISM was first created several years ago and was re-established in October 2022 in response to both a need within medical education as well as in patient care. PRISM was founded to create a safe space and foster support amongst LGBTQ+ students and allies, provide outreach opportunities for the greater New Orleans LGBTQ+ community and aid in the creation of educational opportunities to best serve LGBTQ+ patients. 

OMSA PRISM catch up

What is the interest group’s mission statement?

OMSA PRISM's mission is "To create a safe space and community for LGBTQ+ medical students and promote LGBTQ+ healthcare within the Ochsner and New Orleans community." 

Why is this advocacy work so essential in the medical school community?

This advocacy work is essential in the medical school community because representation matters. We will all have colleagues, patients and trainees in our future careers who belong to this community, no matter what field of medicine you practice. We aim to help prepare medical students to provide LGBTQ+ inclusive healthcare, promote the diversification of faculty and staff and advocate for the supplementation of our curriculum with LGBTQ-inclusive learning.

UQ-Ochsner fourth-year students Abi and Kali representing Prism at World Pride 2023 in Sydney, AUS
UQ-Ochsner fourth-year students Abi and Kali representing Prism at World Pride 2023 in Sydney, AUS

How can medical students support the work OMSA Prism does?

There are a number of ways you can support OMSA PRISM and the work we do! You can join the club or volunteer at any events we host. Aside from Prism, there are always events supporting the LGBTQ+ community going on in a city like New Orleans. When working with patients, even small acts can make a difference. It takes less than 30 seconds to assure you are addressing people how they want to be addressed in terms of name and pronouns. 

What are some of the events and activities organised by the group?

Currently, we have a hygiene supply drive benefiting House of Tulip going that we are hosting with OMSA OBIG. House of Tulip is a local organization serving transgender and gender non-conforming people in need of housing and support. Additionally, since it is Pride month, we have a handful of members volunteering at Pride! We even had a couple members who were able to march at World Pride 2023 in Sydney. 

Sydney World Pride 2023

Keep up to date with the activities organised by OMSA PRISM on Instagram

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