Every Wednesday The CSPH highlights a Sexuality Professional you should keep your eye on. Their backgrounds are very diverse in order to bring attention to the wide variety of amazing people working in the field. This week we bring you Dr. Michelle Forcier!
1. What do you do in the field of sexuality?
I am a pediatrician and adolescent medicine provider who specializes in sexual health. I see patients ages newborn to young adult for a variety of services including primary care but also:
- LGBTQQI primary and specialty care
- gender non-conforming children, adolescents, and young adults
- puberty blocking and transgender hormone therapy
- advanced family planning, including IUD and Implanon insertion
- options counseling for unintended pregnancy
- office based pediatric gynecology
- menstrual disorders such as heavy periods, irregular periods or lack of periods
- testing, treatment and prevention of sexually transmitted infection
- helping youth negotiate relationships and empower them to have healthier sexual relationships
- helping youth negotiate and talk more openly with parents in order to empower youth and parents to have better communication and support
2. Where are you based out of?
I am Associate Professor in Pediatrics with the Warren Alpert School of Medicine, Brown University. I work mostly in Providence and Cranston RI
3. What are your particular goals and passions in the field?
My particular goals are for medical professionals, health and human service providers, as well as families and youth to embrace sexuality and sexual health as an ongoing normal, desirable and healthy aspect of human development…. For us culturally to switch to a positive and affirming lifespan view of sexuality where we are often checking in with patients as to sexual health and satisfaction.
I have a particular interest in early interaction and intervention with gender non-conforming kids, in order to promote early parent support and help them better communicate love and acceptance of any child exploring self, identity, and developmentally appropriate sexuality. I have an interest in early puberty interventions including puberty blockers and initiating puberty in the asserted not assigned gender if youth and families are ready to go forward with a transition plan. I think this may change many previous poorer health outcomes for the better, and result in a healthier happy future generation of gender nonconforming, transgender young adults.
4. Why did you choose to work in this field?
I have an interest in working with vulnerable and underserved populations: children, adolescents, women.
I have an interest in exploring taboo and difficult areas of health and culture with a goal of pushing our boundaries, asking to be our better selves, and hopefully creating a more generous and open medical (and social) culture.
I believe as having the privilege of being trained as a physician, I owe it to my parents, my teachers, and society to provide a service to my community.
I believe I am so lucky and blessed (and I am not terribly religious) to be able to work with children, teens, and families and do the work I do.
5. Where did you go for school/training?
12 years of Catholic school
Brown U undergrad
Year off to live, love and explore adult world and work
UConn medical school
UNC Chapel Hill Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Fellowship, Preventive Medicine Residency, and Masters in Public Health Epidemiology
Post graduate training in family planning
6. Do you have any literature out (websites, articles)?
I have some articles published in the scientific literature
7. What would you recommend to future professionals attempting to get into the field?
My recommendations to all my medical students and residents are
- Find out what you love to do—your passion, your area of natural interest…. Something that makes you want to keep learning and go to work everyday
- Learn what you are truly good at—not just what you like, but the areas and skills that come naturally to you
- Find a path that can incorporate these work interests, along with your non career interests (Arts, sports, nature, family—and don’t neglect these other important personally enriching interests)
- Find mentors to enrich your experience and help guide you
- Don’t be afraid to take go off the beaten path if it is the most real and valuable path for you
8. What is the most challenging aspect for you working in this career?
Time… not having enough time …. to spend talking with patients…. to spend with my family…. to spend taking better care of myself!!
9. One must read-what would you recommend? Why?
I am a big fan of science fiction…. And I really like Margaret Atwood who combines science fiction with commentary in wonderfully creative ways about our world, nature, women, and the major cultural issues of our time.
NOTE: We do not necessarily endorse or agree with all the opinions of our featured Hump Day Heroes. If you have concerns over someone who is currently featured, please let us know by emailing email@example.com.