Mayo Clinic apologizes over conference speaker

Rochester, Minn.-based Mayo Clinic apologized over the inclusion of a speaker at a recent conference who has made critical comments about the transgender community, KTTC reported.

LGBTQ+ organization Rochester Pride had expressed disapproval of the health system's booking of Mary O'Connor, MD, an emeritus professor of orthopedics at Mayo Clinic Florida, at the Advancing Academic Career Excellence for Women 2024 event held in Florida in March, according to the May 13 story.

Dr. O'Connor regularly posts on social media about the purported harms of transgender athletes participating in girls' and women's sports. Mayo Clinic is a sponsor of Rochester Pride.

The health system said it learned after the conference of Dr. O'Connor's social media activity, which is "inconsistent with Mayo Clinic values and does not represent the views of the organization," according to a statement to Rochester Pride posted to Instagram and viewed by KTTC.

"Had we known, we would have reconsidered the invitation. We realize this has caused hurt at a time when the transgender community is facing ongoing discrimination and attacks," said the statement attributed to John Poe, chief education officer for Mayo Clinic. "We will continue to learn, improve and grow in our commitment to the health and well-being of transgender and LGTBI+ staff, patients and community members."

Becker's reached out to Mayo Clinic and Dr. O'Connor for additional comment.

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