Johan Clarke: "My White Coat Means"


Doctors have a long and terrible history of policing queer bodies through treatments and surgical procedures, discriminating against members of the LGBT community by denying gender identity or necessary care, and maintaining a hostile environment for both members of the medical team and the patient. It's telling that a lot of health care disparities in the LGBT community are a result of fear of going to the doctor and that one study claimed about 30% of non-heterosexual med students did not disclose their sexual or gender identity during their time in med school. I wear my white coat as an act of rebellion against a field that wants to deny and forget my existence, in the hope that I can help make the medical community a better place for my fellow members of the queer community. That being said, I recognize that I am still a white male presenting human and that is still an untrustworthy figure for many. I know that the white coat is a strong player in queer erasure and wearing it can be a step backward in my attempts. My white coat reminds me of what I look like, what I need to do to hopefully counteract that fear and erasure, and what I should do to make medicine less dangerous to people like me. 

-Johan Clarke, MD Candidate, Class of 2019