Interview: Dr. Mahmuda Ahmed

Posted on September 16, 2022

Q: You were nominated for your work in helping to develop education for providers on most practices in care for LGBTQ+ youth in the primary care setting. You have also recently started a gender clinic at Northern Light Health. How is that evolving and what about working with this population is the most important for you to share with colleagues?

I started at Eastern Maine Medical Center six years ago. This was my fellowship area of interest. Initially, for the first two to three years, the Gender Clinic did not have a mental health psychologist embedded in the clinic. Now we have our own psychologist on site who joined us three years ago. The psychologist does evaluations and then we all meet as a team. We are now, truly, a multi-specialty clinic.

The most important thing to share about working with the LGBTQ+ population is to make sure that these kids are being heard and respected. Each person has their own journey and path they are taking. They come into the clinic and they think they’re not going to be helped or they will be passed aside and not get the medications they need. They have faced this from others providers or their primary care. It is important to me that after the first meeting, they understand that we are here for them.

I feel as though my colleagues already do this, but it is incredibly important to use a preferred name and pronouns. This goes without saying. Sometimes though, people makes mistakes and we need to acknowledge that mistake. I am really conscious about what name and pronouns I am using and I explicitly ask beforehand. Deadnaming someone is trauma. If someone is trusting you to take care of them, use the preferred name and pronouns. That is the basic of our care.

Q: You are a fairly new board member on the Maine AAP Board of Directors. How has your experience with the Chapter helped you in your position/career?

It has been amazing. My peers have talked so highly of the Maine AAP. I have never been involved with it before, and I just felt I had to be. The support each individual has for each other is amazing. It constantly feels like people are lifting you up. Sponsorship is very real. The people in this group can help you to become who you want to be. In just one year, I feel like I have become more self assured, confident, and supported. It has been wonderful. I always wanted to do advocacy work, but always felt like it was such a challenge with no very clear pathway. When I was asked to be part of it, I didn’t know what to expect, but it opened up my whole mind to really make a difference.

Q: A fun question for our readers. What have you done this summer that was fun/enjoyable?

Last weekend we went whale watching in Bar Harbor! It was a phenomenal experience. I have been talking about doing it my entire life and finally decided to go. It was honestly majestic. We were really lucky too because we saw eight whales! It was amazing.