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Meet Our Advocates: Dr. Joshua St. Louis

What are your pronouns?

Where are you from?
I grew up in Haverhill, Massachusetts. My grandparents are from rural Québec and I spent my summers there as a child. I completed college and medical school in Boston and then did my residency training in Lawrence, a city next door to my hometown.

What’s your specialty or area of expertise?
I am a full-spectrum family doctor. I have a large primary care practice where I care for all patients regardless of age. I see patients in the hospital (both children and adults) and deliver babies. I completed specialist training in HIV and Viral Hepatitis in addition to advanced training in transgender care, addiction medicine, and reproductive health. I work in a community health center and most of my patients are from Latin America and the Caribbean. I also work in two independent reproductive health clinics, one in Massachusetts and one in New Hampshire.

What first inspired you to become a doctor?
Growing up in a socioeconomically underserved community, I was inspired to become a physician because I saw how much power physicians had to advocate for their patients. I have always felt that advocacy is an implicit component of being a physician.

What current policy issue especially motivates you to be an advocate?
It’s hard to choose just one given the current state of politics in the U.S. Since many of my patients in my primary care practice are undocumented, the discussion around the Public Charge Rule has taken the forefront recently. Furthermore, as a physician who cares for many patients with substance use disorders and who practices at the forefront of the opioid crisis, I am very interested in advocating for law and policy that strengthens evidence-based care for substance use disorders.

How do you practice self-care?
I love reading fiction and participating in the local arts scene in Boston. I also eat a lot of brunch with my partner, Jason.

Who is your social justice hero?
It’s hard to choose just one! As a queer person, it’s hard for me to not choose Frank Kameny and Barbara Gittings. Arguably two of the most influential figures in the gay rights movement and certainly two of the earliest, Frank and Barbara were instrumental in convincing the American Psychiatric Association to remove homosexuality from the DSM (where it was listed as a mental illness) in 1973.

Our Meet Our Advocates series showcases the talents and passion of one of our doctors and finds out, in their own words, what inspires them to be physician-advocates. Joshua St. Louis, MD, MPH, AAHIVS is in our current Leadership Training Academy class. Dr. St. Louis practices family medicine in Massachusetts.

Read more interviews from the Meet Our Advocates series.