Community Spotlight

A Med Student and an Educator: Goldberg presents at Community Medical School

April 10, 2018 by Michelle Bookless

Community Medical School is a health and healthcare focused public lecture series that occurs on the first Tuesday of each month from March through May and September through November. The series, which is designed to share the medical learning experience with community members in and around Vermont, features faculty, staff and student experts from the UVM Larner College of Medicine, the UVM Medical Center, and local community organizations. Last Tuesday, Eli Goldberg, a medical student in the class of 2020 joined panelists A. Evan Eyler, M.D., a UVM professor of psychiatry and family medicine, Kate Jerman, M.P.H., the director of the LGBTQA Center at UVM, and Lola Houston, a UVM standardized patient and Burlington-based relationship coach for a special panel presentation, "Transgender Health & Healthcare: Transitioning to Affirmative Care." The topic is one that Goldberg is an expert on both as a medical student and as a member of the transgender community.

UVM Larner College of Medicine medical student Eli Goldberg '20

On Tuesday, April 3 the University of Vermont Larner College of Medicine and the University of Vermont Medical Center hosted a special panel presentation titled "Transgender Health and Healthcare: Transitioning to Affirmative Care."

During the hour-long presentation each panelist covered their areas of expertise in transgender health and healthcare. Among the panelists was UVM medical student Eli Goldberg '20. Goldberg is a co-leader of the College's Gender & Sexuality Alliance and a three-time presenter at the annual Translating Identity Conference in Burlington, Vt.

Goldberg spoke to the audience about the history of gender-affirming care, the role of mental health care in this history and today, hormone therapy, surgical options for those transitioning, and the types of healthcare discrimination often faced by transgender and gender non-conforming people. His presentation was made particularly impactful by his personal experience with transition. When discussing hormone therapy, he recounted his first dose of testosterone saying, "When I talk to people about what it was like for me to start taking testosterone, I like to refer to the moment in the Wizard of Oz when Dorothy crash lands in Oz and she leaves her house and suddenly the movie, which was all in black and white, goes into this beautiful technicolor. For me that's what that experience was like - that my life had been in black and white and all of a sudden I was seeing the world in color - which I hadn't realized was possible before."

Attendees of the lecture were grateful for Goldberg's personal account as well as the medical knowledge he conferred to them. One participant noted, "Eli is a gift to this university and medical school," while another commented that his future transgender patients would be lucky to have him as their physician. 

Goldberg has also been a presenter for the UVM College of Nursing and Health Sciences course "LGBTQ Health Disparities," and as an Albert Schweitzer Fellow, played a pivotal role in the development of the TransForm Project, a statewide transgender peer mentoring network based at the Pride Center of Vermont.

Fellow Community Medical School panelists included A. Evan Eyler, M.D., a UVM professor of psychiatry and family medicine, Kate Jerman, M.P.H., the director of the LGBTQA Center at UVM, and Lola Houston, a UVM standardized patient and Burlington-based relationship coach. 

To watch the full presentation, click here or view the PowerPoint presentation here.

The presentation was the second of three lectures in the Community Medical School Spring 2018 series and was attended by over 88 community members. Community Medical School is a semesterly health and healthcare focused public lecture series that occurs on the first Tuesday of each month from March through May and September through November. The series, which is designed to share the medical learning experience with community members in and around Vermont, features faculty, staff and student experts from the UVM Larner College of Medicine, the UVM Medical Center, and local community organizations. Learn more about Community Medical School.