Jennifer E. Potter, MD
Requests for Single Reprints: Jennifer E. Potter, MD, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, 330 Brookline Avenue, Boston, MA 02215; e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Potter J.; Do Ask, Do Tell. Ann Intern Med. 2002;137:341-343. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-137-5_Part_1-200209030-00010
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 2002;137(5_Part_1):341-343.
I juggle many hats in my life: mother, partner, doctor, and educator. Like all my female colleagues, my experiences as a daughter, sister, patient, and student have influenced my approach to each of these roles. But I am also lesbian, and this fact has shaped my life profoundly. It underlies my decision to become a primary care doctor; select women's health as an area of clinical expertise; and commit myself especially to improving the lives of lesbians, gay men, and people from other minority groups.
It is a challenge to be lesbian in our society. People assume that a young woman is straight, will marry, can get pregnant if she is sexually active, and will have children. This progression is “normal.” Anything else is different and may be perceived as abnormal, wrong, or bad. Historical and continuing records of harassment, assaults, and homicides against lesbians and gay men abound. The medical profession itself has viewed homosexuality as a disorder; aversion techniques, hormone administration, shock treatment, castration, and even lobotomy have been used as purported “treatments” (1). I feel fortunate that I have never been the target of clearly overt actions because of my sexual orientation.
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Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
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