HKUMed News (Vol 27 | Issue 1)

as a key of promoting correct perception of these facilities. ‘There is a misconception that cisgender people should not use gender-neutral facilities. It is imperative to let our staff and students understand that they are open to all, and the only discernible difference in these stalls is heightened privacy,’ he furnished. Student wellness support The HKUMed Student Wellness Team strives to deliver superlative clinical service and is therefore in the best position to provide student wellness support in gender issues. ‘Students with gender dysporia currently lack targeted wellness support and we will try to rectify this,’ Dr Shih pointed out. Dr Ruth Wong, Clinical Psychologist at HKUMed’s Student Wellness Team, agreed. ‘From time to time, we do have students inquiring about the implications of their gender identity or sexual orientation in relation towards interacting with colleagues and patients. ‘Some also demonstrate psychological issues like depression or anxiety.’ Dr Shih proposed setting up peer and near-peer support groups within HKUMed, bolstering a stronger sense of community and mutual assistance for transgender and LGBTQ+ individuals. Nurturing better carers The initiatives proposed by HKUMed Student Affairs Team serve not only to wider acceptance and accommodation of transgender individuals within the campus, but also serve as guidelines for medical students serving patients within the gender spectrum. ‘Medical students will one day grow into physicians, meeting a broad kaleidoscope of patients, gender minority included. Equipping them with the proper attitude and tools, nourishing them to be better care providers serving the public is a responsibility we cannot neglect,’ said Dr Shih. To this end, the Medical Ethics and Humanities Unit (MEHU) provides a diverse curriculum crucial to cultivating empathy towards and knowledge about the LGBTQ+ community. ‘Our mission is to nurture medical students so that they can develop into caring physicians, capable of understanding the human condition and therefore take better care of themselves and of their patients,’ MEHU Director Dr Julie Chen remarked. ‘One of the themes in our curriculum pertinent to gender inclusiveness is doctor-patient identities, and we offer a wide range of learning activities like lectures, seminars, workshops, experiential learning etc. that span from Year 1 through 6,’ Dr Chen added. MEHU has also been trying to raise awareness in gender inclusiveness by bringing in transgender organisations and community members, so students can learn through dialogue and direct interaction. ‘We are planning a workshop this summer on gender studies, including transgender challenges in healthcare provision,’ surmised Dr Alex Gearin, a medical anthropologist at MEHU. ‘In a past workshop I facilitated for second-year medical students on social justice, we examined bias in clinical decision and gender discrimination,’ he added. Dr Nicolette Ray, Honorary Assistant Professor at MEHU, pointed out they have connected with Brenda Alegre, an HKU Gender Studies lecturer who is also a local leading voice in LGBTQ+ activism, and the Hong Kong LGBT Medical Society, to support the ‘pathway’ teaching module where students can selfinitiate learning activities. She admitted this is a gradual process which may gain wider participation →Dr Julie Chen Yun, Assistant Dean of the Faculty and Director of Medical Ethics and Humanities Unit (MEHU), School of Clinical Medicine 醫學院助理院長 (學生福祉)、臨床醫學 學院倫理及人文學部 總監陳芸博士 ← ‘Take a moment to do craft’ event organised by the Student Wellness Team invited students to design their own card holders after completing a questionnaire to explore their personalities and strengths. 參與學生心理健康部 主辦「留一刻與你做手 作」活動的同學,不僅 可藉著填寫問卷了解 自己的性格强項,更 可親身設計及製作屬 於自己的卡片套。 FEATURE + 30