Brown University's Alpert Medical School opens first gender neutral bathroom

Providence, R.I.-based Brown University's Alpert Medical School has created its first gender inclusive bathroom, according to The Brown Daily Herald.

Allan Tunkel, MD, PhD, associate dean of medical education, relayed the information to The Brown Daily Herald in a recent email. Dr. Tunkel said the restroom will help convey that the medical school is "transgender-conscious," according to the report.

The effort to create the bathroom was started by a group of medical school students, who consulted Dr. Tunkel about the issue last September.

"This is a struggle students have fought for at Brown for a while now," said Brian Leyva, one of the students involved in the effort, according to the report. "We really saw a need for this in terms of creating a more inclusive environment at the medical school."

A number of signs indicate the bathroom, located on the second floor of one of the medical school's buildings, is gender neutral. The signs say the bathroom "is available to all people, regardless of gender, identity, expression or physical need," according to the report.

Recently, AlpertMedicalSchool has implemented a variety of changes to become more inclusive.

In February, the medical school adopted a new program called the LGBTQ Health Care and Advocacy concentration, through which students can take additional extracurricular studies in lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer advocacy. Additionally, Dr. Tunkel said the school has formed a diversity and inclusion task force. Mr. Leyva said Alpert has arranged an educational conference about caring for transgender patients.

More articles on medical schools:
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Physician diversity lags before med school begins: 7 things to know
2016 Main Residency Match Day was largest in history: 10 things to know

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