DO Pride: TouroCOM Middletown Rainbow Health Coalition

Published June 20, 2023

Inside OME

Sitting portrait of student doctor Jared Nasso

By Jared Nasso, OMS I, Rainbow Health Coalition President, Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine – Middletown, New York

June commemorates Pride Month for the LGBTQIA+ community with festive celebrations and parades worldwide honoring a diverse range of identities. Pride Month encourages us to pause and take a moment to celebrate the communities that have been working towards promoting inclusion. Osteopathic physicians have been contributing to this mission by reflecting upon our foundational philosophy and uplifting underserved communities.

When I think about the human body, I often think of cairns, those rock piles you see while hiking. Within this cairn, there are layers on top of one another that represent the wellness of the self. Large and small pieces come together to play a role in forming the whole. Like a cairn, the LGBTQIA+ community is made up of smaller pieces that make up a whole.

The LGBTQIA+ community is composed of a variety of identities and experiences from countless people of countless backgrounds. As osteopathic members of this community, we strive to utilize our medical knowledge, scientific drive and cultural competency to provide personalized care in a variety of layers, in which each one bolsters the next. Through education and amplification of the LGBTQIA+ experience, we can become better communicators and allow patients to feel acceptance within medicine.

Members of the Rainbow Health Coalition at the Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine -  Middletown campus are creating a dialogue about LGBTQIA+ health. By utilizing our osteopathic core values, we honor the mind, body and spirit to uplift patients and colleagues. Osteopathic tenets support an inclusive curriculum that recognizes intersectionality and the many impacts that contribute to health.

At the Rainbow Health Coalition, we are unified in our interest in osteopathic medicine for its philosophy of interconnectedness, and we recognize that our lives are similarly interconnected, like the muscles and bones of the body. This understanding helps us communicate better with our patients, and to know that when the mind suffers, so does health. Osteopathic manipulative treatment has made us more aware of how we sit or walk, and the role posture plays in our health. The interplay of the body is as immense and complex as any person’s thoughts and identities. This idea allows us to better accept and process the pathology and distress others may experience. It's what allows us to be compassionate to the worries and stress faced by our patients and those around us. As osteopathic medical students and physicians, we can discern and facilitate treatment using medicine and the human experience, connecting intrapersonal and interpersonal knowledge. We are fortunate to have found a community that supports the balance of wellness within the human body, mind and spirit.

As members of the Rainbow Health Coalition, we are proud to celebrate our experiences as osteopathic students and members of the LGBTQIA+ community. We are proud to be part of a school and field that accepts and supports inclusivity and diversity in the countless intersections within every member. With this month we remember to understand and accept others and embrace that to heighten our journey.

Happy Pride Month!