The Chairs at the Doctors’ Office

May be an image of furniture and indoor
May be an image of furniture and indoor
Image Description: Dark gray chairs of various sizes at my doctors’ office.

I went to the doctors’ office today for a routine visit. A few months ago, the office made a location change, and their new building is a total glow up. In addition to noticing that broadly, one particular detail caught my eye as soon as I walked in, and it really moved me. In the waiting area, there were chairs of various sizes. They weren’t all the same. That meant there was comfortable space for people of all body sizes. That meant there was space for a parent and child to sit together in the same seat.

There is frequently a lot of fatphobia in medical settings. And research and personal anecdotes alike tell us that people with larger bodies often avoid doctors’ offices and other medical settings because they have been shamed, misdiagnosed, undiagnosed, and/or discriminated against.

It was beautiful to see this space, both as a a tangible accommodation and as a symbol of a different set of commitments. I definitely noticed. Equality and equity are not the same. With this setup, Packard Health demonstrated the importance of the second with intention and care.

Renee Roederer

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