The world is continually changing. There are transformations in the way we talk, the way we dress, even in the way we interact and communicate. With the digital age continuously breaking barriers, everything has become possible.
People are not afraid to speak their minds, to share news of themselves and of the world, to discuss politics and sensitive issues. In this decade, for instance, women and the LGBTQ+ community have begun coming out of their shells to cry for equality. Gone are the days when these people hid in the shadows of patriarchy.
It is exciting to watch these changes and witness the new opportunities for those who were once marginalized. Although the fight for equality still exists in many parts of the world, the recognition of their reality is a start. That is what people like Shirin Peters, MD, aim to contribute - the continued acknowledgment of the existence of marginalized groups and persistent actions to support their struggle for equality.
Being passionate about New York City and the people in it, Shirin Peters has come to fully understand the needs of “city people.” Through living in New York as a single adult and then as part of a family (with her husband and two sons), Shirin experienced the city in many dimensions. She developed a deep empathy for the people of New York. Because of this, she aims to provide primary care to people in all shapes and sizes.
Shirin is a primary care doctor at Bethany Medical Clinic. She attended medical school at New York Medical College and completed her residency at the former St. Vincent’s Hospital in Manhattan. She then began going solo in 2011. She has maintained the clinic for over nine years, with steady organic growth during each passing year. Bethany Medical Clinic has six clinic sites, with 20 practicing medical providers from specialized fields of primary care, dermatology, cosmetics, psychotherapy, and nutrition.
However, Bethany Medical Clinic is more than the categories of healthcare it provides. What sets the clinic apart is its ability to genuinely accommodate the patients’ needs by listening to them. Shirin wanted the clinic to exceed expectations and provide services that are efficient and accessible while maintaining the highest quality of care. She believed that through collaboration with their patients, the clinic could function that is tailor-fitted to their exact needs. Through the simple act of listening to patients, Shirin explains, the clinic can have a full and clear understanding of the health challenges of its patients.
Because of its custom-built system of care, Shirin and her team are able to provide services for a wide range of people, and they take particular pride in caring for women and minorities, who often are deprioritized or overlooked by traditional practice models. “Women - and working mothers in particular - can not take time away from their workplace to get routing care” explains Shirin. “We knew from the outset that we needed to offer early morning appointments, evening appointments and Saturday appointments to meet the needs of these particular patients at our practice. African American women are twice as likely to die from cervical cancer as white women, and instead of accepting this, we tried to look at why. We ultimately created literature to distribute to patients around the importance of routine pap screening and around treatment options after cervical cancer is diagnosed, when we found out that black women are simply less likely to be counseled by a medical professional in these two areas.”
As a female and minority-owned business with senior management actively including women and minorities, the clinic seeks to overcome systemic discrimination in healthcare to meet the needs of each individual patient.
Shirin envisioned a clinic with a system that incorporates her ideals of social justice and equal rights for women, people of color, and the LGBTQ+ community. As a non-black woman of color herself, she wants to offer new care opportunities for people who have previously felt unseen in their attempts to access primary care. She hopes to start ripples of changes in a world where inequality still undermines many workplaces and many communities.
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