News at Medicine - July 2021 - July Professionalism Moment

July Professionalism Moment
July 25, 2021
Dean Steele’s notes are paused over the summer and will restart in the fall and a more extended professionalism moment has been created to provide some additional resources.

Being professional means doing your part to create an open and safe environment for everyone you work with. Working with people with different perspectives, experiences, and approaches makes our work more effective and interesting, and helps us meet the needs of everyone we serve. It’s a privilege to work with people who are different from us, and something we shouldn’t take for granted.

This month’s professionalism moment comes from Kristin Hanlon, Manager of Operations in the Discipline of Family Medicine:

Nationally, Pride is recognized throughout the month of June and in St. John’s, NL, we also celebrate Pride week in July.

During both timeframes, it is an opportunity to celebrate and learn more about ourselves and the people around us. Whether you consider yourself to be part of the LGBTQI2S community or an ally, we can all expand our understanding of the terms, issues, and challenges faced by people who are part of this diverse and exceptional community.

Being inclusive is a key part of professionalism. We all have a part to play in making our work and learning spaces more open and inclusive. Here are three things you can do to be more professional this month:

Learn about LGBTQI2S terminology

Knowing how to talk about orientation and gender, and removing outdated terminology from your vocabulary is the first step to being inclusive. There are numerous resources online – here’s one you can start with: LGBTQI2S terms and concepts.

Learn about pronouns and use inclusive language

Things you can do now:

  • Use they/them if you have not yet learned a person’s pronouns
  • Replace he/she in your template letters and documents with they/them or the person’s name
  • Keep inclusive language and terms in mind when requesting personal information and writing content for websites, brochures, surveys and forms
  • Add your pronouns to your email signature to help make trans and non-binary coworkers and learners feel accepted and included.
  • Respect other people’s pronoun and name preferences. It is about what they want, and not about what you think or your comfort level. Be kind to yourself if you make a mistake – apologize and try to get it right next time. Just making an effort can mean a lot to a person.

Understand your own biases and become an ally

Take time to understand and change your own biases and stereotypes. We are all learning. It’s important to recognize that many queer and gender queer people do not fit our learned stereotypes.
Our work and learning environments haven’t always been safe spaces for LGBTQI2S people, especially those who are also people of colour. Repeatedly coming out to co-workers and peers can be stressful and exhausting. Learning more about the lived experiences of people in the LGBTQI2S community should be a goal for all of us.

Interested in becoming an effective ally? Learn more on how you can help improve inclusion in our work and study spaces.

The more open we are to talking and learning about LGBTQI2S issues, the better our offices and classrooms will be for everyone.