“I walked into this job saying I want to do LGBTQ care here, and they said, ‘cool, do that,’” Locke said. “They just really supported me with pursuing that as much as I want to. They really foster the faculty’s passions.”
Locke is a general OB-GYN for Indiana University Health and IU School of Medicine, but has a special interest in LGBTQ care. She sees patients at the IU Health Coleman Center as well as at the Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Health Transgender Clinic.
“For me personally, I am a queer person,” Locke said. “I'm married to a woman, and it has been so incredibly valuable for me to have a job where I am giving back to my personal community. It's been super meaningful for patients to have a physician who is not just OK with taking care of LGBTQ people, but who is actually a member of their community and who is open about that and who is excited to take care of the LGBTQ population.”
The transgender clinic at Eskenazi is a multidisciplinary clinic where family medicine physicians, mental health professionals, plastic surgeons, OB-GYNs and others come together to provide care for patients.
“I've had the joy of getting to take care of some trans men through pregnancy. We also provide routine gynecologic care contraception and gender-affirming hysterectomy,” Locke said. “We can really offer patients everything that they would need for full-spectrum, trans care in one place.”
Locke said IU School of Medicine is a national leader in focusing on LGBTQ care. The school has an LGBTQ care track for family medicine, psychiatry and OB-GYN residents. It also hosts one of the most comprehensive and affordable LGBTQ Health Care Conferences in the country.
“Indiana University has really been on the cutting edge of this,” Locke said. “We're in the Midwest and we are in a state that is not always considered to be super liberal, but we have one of the only comprehensive trans programs in the country, which is fantastic.”
As faculty for the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Locke works with residents to teach them about LGBTQ care by spending time with them at the transgender clinic during their family planning rotation.
“We recently had a fantastic opportunity with a resident who was on the transgender component of her family planning rotation. She was able to attend a virtual conference with me that was hosted by a trans man about trans masculine birth, and then we were able to see one of my trans masculine patients who was pregnant in clinic. We were able to introduce him to the resident and build some rapport, and then we induced him later that week and she got to be present for his delivery,” Locke said. “It was a really amazing opportunity for some continuity of care. There's a lot of flexibility in the schedule and that rotation to allow for those options.”
In the coming years, Locke is looking forward to continuing her work with OB-GYN residents and completing more LGBTQ research.
“LGBTQ care, and especially transgender care, is an area that we're really lacking in research,” Locke said. “So many times when I'm counseling patients, I have to say, ‘this is what we think is the best practice, but there's no data to support this,’ and that's something that we're really committed to changing.”
The views expressed in this content represent the perspective and opinions of the author and may or may not represent the position of Indiana University School of Medicine.
Christina is the media relations specialist for the IU School of Medicine Dean's Office of Strategic Communications.