Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Mauricio Giraldo, MD

Mauricio Giraldo, MD
Neuro & Cardiac Anesthesiologist, London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC),
Assistant professor, Western University, Ontario, Canada
SNACC DEI Committee member

Aldo Espinosa, MD
Neuroanesthesiologist, London Health Science Centre (LHSC)
(Working Hand in Hand with the LGBT+ Medical Student Community)
Assistant Professor, Western University, London Ontario, Canada

As the reflection of a multicultural society, we proudly present the participation of a neuroanesthesiologist in the new committee of the Western University in London Ontario, Canada, aimed at facilitating the inclusion processes for students of the LGBT + community within our medicine program. Here are some reflections about this new program.

Aldo Espinosa, MD
  1. I would like to ask you how did you get into this position and what is this program about?

The program is called Open Meds LGBT+ Mentorship Program for Western medicine school; this is a program that was from its very origins created by LGBT+ community students and supported by LGBT+ faculty members. The faculty members that volunteered were approached with the idea to make a match with a student in order to build a community to help them (students) navigate the particular situations they might encounter while they navigate medicine school and hospital life as LGBT+ members.

I was invited to be part of this program as a faculty member in 2019, and in 2021, I was asked to take the role of faculty lead for the program. What this program does pretty much is do matchmaking and allow us as faculty to be there for those students who wanted some help to navigate through Med school as LGBTQ members.

  1. So far, how has been this experience you have had in this committee?

It’s been very enlightening, and it has given me a lot of hope for the generations that are coming. You have to think that all of this is organized by our students, and to see how invested our students here at Western are to try to promote diversity, and to try to promote inclusiveness for everyone has been very encouraging for someone like me that was already on the other side of my training years. This experience also has been very eye-opening. I am being exposed to new ideas new ways of addressing our students that are ground-breaking, and also, it has been very helpful, I think, for many other students in the same way.

  1. What are your thoughts about the future of this special program? What do you see towards the future?

Well, for one, many of the LGBT+ students already are working here in Canada to create a national program for students so that they are able to reach out and support each other between all the universities that carry a medicine program. So, the future is looking really great for them. They have already published papers together and are creating a national conference. So, I think the future is to be able to bring this sort of supporting programs everywhere in Canada and for them to be able to spread kindness for everyone and a better medical education community.

Thank you very much Dr. Espinosa, for answering our questions, and hopefully, see you around in the next Seattle SNACC meeting this year.

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