GME team members at the Delaware Pride Festival

Bayhealth GME Creates Environment of Inclusivity

Wednesday, June 29, 2022 | Community Outreach
Team members of Bayhealth’s Graduate Medical Education (GME) program represented the organization at this year’s Delaware Pride Festival on Legislative Mall in Dover. The growing GME department at Bayhealth, which oversees the training of new doctors and two medical practices where staff and physician residents care for our community, has been intentional in showcasing their welcoming spirit to all, including those in the LGBTQ+ community.

As a health system overall, Bayhealth was named an “LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality Top Performer” in the Healthcare Equality Index (HEI), a prominent national benchmarking survey by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. Bayhealth GME Institutional Coordinator Lydia Raughley said that diversity, equity and inclusion are key components in their day-to-day operations—from their office atmosphere to the ways they recruit and train new residents.

“We make sure to use inclusive language, the correct terminology when discussing gender, and the pronouns that each person prefers,” Raughley said. “We have LGBTQ+ themed items in our offices like ‘safe space’ stickers, rainbows, and flags to encourage individuals to be themselves. We hear from a lot of residents who are applying to our programs that they are proud of how Bayhealth celebrates inclusivity.”

While the GME program trains medical school graduates to be the best physicians they can be, an essential part of that is preparing them to be sensitive to the needs of patients of all races, ethnicities, religions, ages, and backgrounds.

“Some LGBTQ+ patients have experienced stigma and discrimination, making it harder to share sensitive information in a healthcare setting for fear of being judged,” said Bayhealth Family Medicine Resident Physician Sameer Valluri, MD. “We strive to make the environment as comfortable as possible for patients to open up about their medical concerns and get the high-quality care that meets their needs.”

Working with Camp Rehoboth is one example of how the Bayhealth Family Medicine Residency program embraces the needs of the LGBTQ+ community in central and southern Delaware. During their community medicine rotation, the Bayhealth residents spend time with Camp Rehoboth staff and members and participate in their HIV clinic.
“It was so rewarding to be at PrideFest to support our local LGBTQ+ community,” said Raughley. “It allowed us to share how we live out the Bayhealth mission every day in the inclusive ways we serve our community and make each individual feel welcome and cared for in the best way possible.”

Visit Bayhealth.org/LQBTQ for more information about clinicians who offer LGBTQ+ services at Bayhealth and related resources.