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Eleanor Dawson

My name is Eleanor Dawson from North Yorkshire, UK and I am a 3rd year medical student at the University of Limerick, Ireland.

One our modules, Special Study Humanities in Medicine (SSM) required us to explore and reflect on any aspect of medicine (including being a student) in one of more aspects of the Humanities and to produce an original creative piece of work. As part of my SSM I created a poster titled ‘Representation Matters.’ This highlighted the work of figures including LGBT+ individuals and offered an opportunity to strengthen the voices of figures that have overcome adversity to enter the medical profession, their medical achievements which have been under reported or who have promoted peace and social justice through their practice. Consequently, how their lives and careers have made a mark on the history of medicine.

The piece took the opportunity to illuminate those medical professionals who have forged their own powerful, ground-breaking path that instead of doing malevolence they have broken barriers to achieve greater benevolence. I hope to share with you this piece as I think it ties in extremely well with the theme for this month’s LGBT+ history month. I feel very passionately that LGBT+ staff should be celebrated and work in a safe and inclusive environment especially in the light that the UK government is cutting the NHS pride program which is overwhelmingly disheartening which is even more difficult to process when in contrast the Health Service Executive in Ireland is just introducing their Rainbow Badge scheme. Additionally, to see yourself in others gone before means you can be it! Representation Matters! Furthermore, LGBT+ patients, who have often faced ignorance and inequalities, should have a welcoming environment and staff of all backgrounds should be part of creating that inclusive environment. Please let me know if you need any more information and thank you for all your hard work and dedication in making February LGBT+ month!