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Rainbow Pin Ceremony

Group of medical students holding rainbow colored Caduceus pins

The Rainbow Pin Ceremony is an annual event sponsored by LGBTQ+ PhaM, a joint student interest group at UC San Diego School of Medicine and Skaggs School of Pharmaceutical Sciences.

This lunchtime event features a presentation on key healthcare disparities facing the LGBTQ+ community and time for open-ended discussion with featured panelists. At the end of the ceremony, attendees receive a rainbow caduceus pin that they may wear while interacting with patients. This affords an opportunity both to LGBTQ+ patients to feel safer and more comfortable in their interactions with healthcare personnel, and to trainees to demonstrate and honor a lifelong dedication to advocating the unique and historically unmet needs of the LGBTQ+ community.

Past panels have featured various physicians in relevant fields, including infectious disease, primary care, endocrinology, and psychiatry; community advocates; and patients willing to share personal experiences in healthcare related to their LGBTQ+ identity. The ceremony has also in some years highlighted several personal coming out stories, submitted anonymously by willing members of the student body before the event.

While the format varies slightly from year to year, as it's up to current first-year students in LGBTQ+ PhaM to organize the event to their liking, the annual Rainbow Pin Ceremony remains an essential celebration of visibility and advocacy of the LGBTQ+ community and an important commitment to increasing diversity, equity, and inclusivity in health sciences education. The event is typically held in November.