FM Weekly 4.13
23 April 2023
content notice for this issue: anti-abortion legislation, racism, the shooting of Ralph Yarl, unconsented drug testing in pregnancy, racism in health care, sexual assault, sexual assault in health care
When I started my PhD program in the fall of 2021, I knew I wanted to focus on consent in pelvic care. This impetus started from my publication of the same name in the Journal of Midwifery & Women’s Health. I covered a lot of ground and in that article and am so grateful for the time I made on night shifts and post-call, and to the students and on-boarding midwives (specific shout-out to Karie Stewart!) who stepped up during shifts while I was laboring away on literature reviews and finessing language. I remain incredibly proud of that publication - my first as solo author.
One struggle with journal articles, especially clinical publications, is the limited space and cultural tone foreclosing on the ability to say everything I want and in the way I want. This is no fault of any journal necessarily, but rather what one can anticipate about capacity and allowance when choosing on what platform to publish something. Part of what I now seek in terms of seeking space and a welcoming platform to write about is something that will be accepting of ideas that are a little more blunt, a little more brave, a little more out of the box than what clinical journals might allow. Feminist and philosophy journals seem to be those places. Much of my writing in my doctoral work right now centers around sexual assault and rape culture in clinical settings. I have been pleasantly surprised to be so encouraged by my faculty, so well-received with journal submissions, and so thoroughly supported by reviewers (even reviewer 2!) in non-clinical journals and conferences.
This week, I was able to publish one of the first papers I wrote from my doctoral research: “Presumed Consent for Pelvic Exams Under Anesthesia is Medical Sexual Assault.” This is my second paper as solo-author, and I am very proud of what is in this piece. I incorporated music lyrics, poetry, nods to my own feminist education origin stories, and compassion for others struggling with the moral distress of clinical education and care. While the publication process is a lot of work and a lot of waiting, once something is out in the world it can feel like such a quiet and soft launch. What’s written in this piece is anything but quiet and soft. It’s a protest sign, it’s a rallying cry, it’s what I scream into pillows, and it’s what I choke back when I teach clinicians to do trauma-informed care.
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