Meet the Doctor: Lin-Fan Wang, MD
Lin-Fan Wang, MD, is a family physician who practices at Montgomery Family Practice and Genuardi Family Foundation Maternal Health Center in Norristown and at Community Practice Center in Philadelphia. She joined the Einstein Healthcare Network in August and recently was named medical director of Einstein’s Pride Program.
We recently talked with Dr. Wang about her career, her interests and the Pride Program.
Perspectives: Why did you decide to become a doctor?
Dr. Wang: I wanted to go into a profession where I could give back and would also be intellectually challenged. I constantly have the opportunity to learn and grow.
Perspectives: Tell us about your education background.
Dr. Wang: I did undergrad at the University of Michigan. I moved to the Bronx for medical school at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. I stayed there for my residency in Family and Social Medicine at Montefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Afterwards, I did a family planning fellowship at the same institution.
Perspectives: How did you decide that you wanted to pursue family medicine?
Dr. Wang: During medical school, you go through different rotations to help you decide what specialty you want to go into. And I basically liked all my rotations except for surgery, so that made it very easy for me. I liked seeing kids. I liked adults. I liked doing prenatal care. I also liked how family medicine is about continuity of care and building relationships, not just with one person, with entire families. You can see generations: the grandparents, the parents, the children. I particularly liked that I could see someone through prenatal care and be there for the delivery, then take care of the baby and the parent or parents.
Perspectives: You came to Einstein last year. What drew you here?
Dr. Wang: I was working at Mazzoni Center, an LGBTQ clinic in Philadelphia, and I had always wanted to go back into more of a teaching role. I found out that Einstein Montgomery was opening up a new family medicine residency program, which would give me the opportunity to guide physicians-in-training in the suburbs to provide gender-affirming and racially literate health care.
I was also motivated by my time at Mazzoni Center. We had patients who would travel to Philadelphia from across the state and even from different states to find a primary care clinician who was gender-affirming or who had the training and experience to provide care for LGBTQ+ patients. I realized the importance of expanding quality services for LGBTQ+ individuals, and I saw an opportunity to do that through the Pride Program.
Perspectives: A lot of our readers don’t know about the Pride Program. Tell us a little bit about what the program does and how you came to apply for the job.
Dr. Wang: The Pride Program existed before I came along, and there are many people who made it into the program that it is today. The purpose is to give LGBTQ+ individuals access to care that is affirming, safe, and competent. It started in the OB/GYN department and they added behavioral health, plastic surgery, and endocrinology. They realized that the foundation of the Pride Program should be primary care, just as it is for health care in general. We not only manage health conditions and promote health and wellness, we also coordinate care. I was invited to apply for the job, and I feel humbled to have been accepted.
Perspectives: How did you develop an interest in care for the LGBTQ+ community?
Dr. Wang: Part of it is that I come from that community. People I care about are part of communities that have had and continue to experience discrimination, even assault, in the health care setting due to race, culture, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, and/or disability. My mission in medicine is to provide a welcoming, safe and empowering environment for communities that are marginalized from health care and partner with them to achieve their health goals. I would like to reach the point where any LGBTQ+ individual who walks through our door is provided quality and affirming care by all staff, regardless of whether they have a special interest in LGBTQ+ health. Primary care is LGBTQ+ health. Health care in general is LGBTQ+ health.
Perspectives: I understand that the Pride Program recently received a grant. Can you tell me about the grant and how it’ll be used?
Dr. Wang: We received a grant from the Albert Einstein Society for the Einstein Pride Educational Institute, which will provide an online-interactive training series on the best practices in LGBTQ+ health. The curriculum will be designed to train anyone involved in the care of patients, from patient service representatives to clinicians to administrators. I have to give credit to Libby Parker for the inception of the grant proposal, and Darius McLean, Pride’s Program Manager, who will be spearheading the project.
Perspectives: Obviously, caring for the LGBTQ+ community is one of your clinical interests. Are there others?
Dr. Wang: My other interests intersect with LGBTQ+ health and include sexual, reproductive and adolescent health. I’m on faculty with MSFC (Medical Students for Choice) and ARSHEP, the Adolescent Reproductive and Sexual Health Education Program, a program through Physicians for Reproductive Health. In addition to those clinical interests, I’m a co-founder of CERCL-FP (Centering Equity, Race, Cultural Literacy in Family Planning), whose mission is to use critical race theory and reproductive justice frameworks to advance family planning by centering communities of color.
Perspectives: How much of your time is spent with the Pride Program versus other responsibilities?
Dr. Wang: I currently spend two to three half days a month working at the Pride clinic at the Community Practice Center in Philadelphia, providing primary care for LGBTQ+ individuals ages 18 and older. My schedule changes in July, when our first class of residents begin training at Einstein Medical Center Montgomery’s Family Medicine Residency Program. As core faculty and the medical director of Pride, the majority of my time will be focused on education and training, including the integration of LGBTQ+ health in primary care and service expansion.
Perspectives: What are your interests outside work?
Dr. Wang: I love food. I don’t cook, but I’m extraordinarily talented at eating. My travel plans usually revolve around places where there’s good food or cuisines that aren’t as available in Philly.
Perspectives: Do you have a favorite book?
Dr. Wang: It’s impossible for me to pick one, but the last two I read and recommend were Lives of Great Men: Living and Loving as an African Gay Man, by Chike Frankie Edozien, and Reproducing Race: An Ethnography of Pregnancy as a Site of Racialization, by Khiara Bridges.
Perspectives: Do you have a favorite movie?
Dr. Wang: I also can’t pick a favorite movie, but the last movie I watched and enjoyed was Always Be My Maybe, for its humor, heart, and Asian American representation.
Perspectives: Did you have an early role model?
Dr. Wang: My Aunt Betty, who I wish I could have spent more time with. When I was in elementary school, we had to write a report about our role model. I picked my Aunt Betty, and she kindly agreed to an interview. I think my parents saved my paper. At that time, within my very small social circle, she was the only Asian American woman I knew who was in leadership. I was awestruck that she was so powerful but also so warm and kind.
Perspectives: What is an interesting fact about you?
Dr. Wang: I’m a proud, unapologetic cat lady. Our two cats are named Sid and Impurrrator Furryossa.
Learn more about the Pride Program.