Ireland's first AGM for gay and lesbian doctors is set to take place in the Radisson Blu Hotel, Dublin, on May 8th at 7pm. The AGM is being organised by Gay Doctors Ireland, a newly-established group set up to provide educational, professional and social support for gay and lesbian doctors working in the Irish health service.
The agenda will address issues relevant to doctors and medical students from Ireland's gay community. The keynote address will be delivered by Dr Jesse Ehrenfeld of Harvard University and Chair of the Massachusetts Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Communities and will be entitled ‘Better Healthcare for LGBT Communities'.
Dr Conor Malone of Beaumont Hospital, Dublin, one of the organisers, told the Medical Independent: "We have had a really good response so far and are having a more professional revamp of the website. The main idea of it is to facilitate doctors who are outside of the main teaching hospitals and cities, for example GPs in a rural setting or peripheral hospitals.
"Apart from the AGM, we plan to hold major meetings in the six months in between, as well as smaller meetings on a regional basis, perhaps broken down into special interest groups or for consultants or medical students only, for example."
Dr Malone pointed out that the establishment of the group brings Ireland into line with other countries.
"Most other European countries have such an organisation, be it political or networking, so we thought it would be appropriate in a modern Ireland," he said. "It is mainly for support so that people can relax in an environment where people understand where they are coming from."
Gay Doctors Ireland currently has approximately 40 registered members, comprising consultants, GPs, NCHDs and students, with that number expected to rise considerably following the agm. Those interested in registering or joining the organisation can do so by visiting www.gaydoctorsireland.ie