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Angeles Medical Center. My work-life balance became
optimized, and I became an extremely active member
of the CSA, as well as SCPMG. My involvement in both
of these organizations has been expanded, amplified
and facilitated by synergy - a combination of
organizational infrastructure, frameworks, and most
of all role models, mentors, and leaders who forged
platforms to develop future leaders, embrace diversity,
and explore new paths.
Within Kaiser and SCPMG, the Area Medical Director
at Kaiser Los Angeles Medical Center and the SCPMG
Executive Medical Director are both openly gay men
- when I see them, I know that countless barriers and
" rainbow " glass ceilings were shattered. I emphasize
the word " openly gay " because I have often worked
alongside LGBTQ people who remained closeted and
lived in fear that they would be " outed. " So, to break
barriers when your sexual orientation is on full display
and embraced is not as common as one might think,
especially in medicine. It is very meaningful to finally
see someone who resembles a big part of who I am
and know that I (or someone like me) could achieve as
much too. It gives us HOPE.
Within CSA, there is a diverse array of leaders who
actively seek to move our organization forward and
expand our footprint and impact - people who truly
lead and effectuate change because they care, and
are genuine and sincere. But I really began to see
change when women assumed the Presidency in
the CSA (and in the ASA) - there was a palpable
difference in tone, vision, and intentions, and I say
that with no disrespect to the many amazing male
leaders who helped pave the way for women to
ascend. CSA acts intentionally, implementing change
and weaving it into our organizational DNA. CSA
represents all of our members and the patients we
serve by our diversity of thought, and our broad
mission, vision, and actions. We continue to seek
new avenues in which to develop allies, but most
importantly, the CSA acts as a gigantic " role model/

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CSA Vital Times

mentor/mentee generator " that makes quantum leaps
at every turn. Suddenly, I feel like I am at the right
place, at the right time, with the right people, and it
simply feels so invigorating to be in the midst of it all.

The future. As my career now enters its final
phases, I know I am running out of time to do the
things I want to do, and I often wonder at night if I
made enough of a difference, or if my career path or
trajectory would have been different if I had not been
an openly gay, Latinx physician beginning my career
during the AIDS crisis in America in 1987.
I leave those thoughts in the past because I know
the future is bright. There are so many opportunities
to continue to break new ground and welcome a new
generation of amazing doctors who will lead the way
forward. As a whole, medicine now deals more openly
with things we never thought of discussing - sexism,
homophobia, racism - to name a few. We intentionally
open up difficult and painful conversations to gain
insight and continue to improve upon addressing
our struggles and deficiencies as organizations
and as a society.
So, I end this conversation with all of you with several
parting thoughts....
Follow your passions, own your unique authentic
version of yourself, and never forget to pay it forward.
Mentors come in many shapes and sizes - do not be
afraid to ask someone to be your mentor, and more
importantly, do not be afraid to mentor others.
Allies do not have to look like yourself, but they do
have to embrace who you are and what you believe
in... but sometimes you have to knock on a lot of
doors to be seen and heard.
Synergy is when the sum of 1+1 = 3. In my mind, CSA
is 1+1 = 100.



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