Kate Baur recently started her surgical residency in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She has a particular interest in colo-rectal surgery, in particular as anal cancer is a cancer that has a higher incidence in populations such as the LGBTQ+ population. Since recording her podcast she has not only started her surgical residency but has got married.
Our conversation starts with Kate’s upbringing which saw her live around the world in communities in Korea, India and China and what this taught her about different cultures as well as some of the grave inequities in services, particularly medicine. We trace her path to medical school and her interest in surgery, and reflect on the presence of role models within medicine among women and gay women in particular and find that there are very few. We speak then about the importance of medicine embracing the different needs of the LGBTQ+ community and how little of the curriculum addresses this.
Kate is passionate about advocating for the relatively “invisible” LGBTQ+ community when it comes to medicine and this is what drew her to colorectal surgery in particular. We compare the approach to screening for anal cancer to screening for cervical cancer and find that the principles are the same but, again, the advocacy is lacking. There is more information about the “Anchor Study” which is investigating screening and treatment for anal cancer in patients who are HIV+ on the following link. https://anchorstudy.org/
Kate mentions GLMA which is an organization of health professionals advancing LGBTQ equality (https://www.glma.org/) as a prominent affinity group that is raising awareness.