Update: Wake Forest "says the student who boasted about mistreating a patient has been placed on a 'leave of absence.' The school claims 'all of our procedures were followed," reported Gregg Re, along with the student's statement.
A fourth-year medical student at Wake Forest boasted on social media Tuesday about apparently sticking a patient unnecessarily with a needle — all because he mocked her "pronoun pin." The bizarre boast was first noted by blogger Jesse Nickles on his site Hucksters.net who was the first to identify the woman.
K. Del, or Kychelle Del Rosario, a fourth year medical student at Wake Forest School of Medicine, posted to Twitter that a patient was so disrespecting of her pronouns that she intentionally injured the patient during a medical procedure. Del Rosario has since deleted her account.
"I had a patient I was doing a blood draw on see my pronoun pin and loudly laugh to the staff 'She/Her? Well of course it is! What other pronouns even are there? It?' I missed his vein so he had to get stuck twice," Del Rosario said in a now deleted tweet.
Del Rosario was responding to a tweet from Shirlene Obuobi MD that spoke about how Obuobi wears pronouns on her name badge "to help [her] patients & colleagues who fall under the trans umbrella feel a little more comfy."
The tweet was screenshotted by Libs of Tik Tok, who shared that the 4th year medical student from Wake Forest "says she abused a patient because he laughed at her pronoun pin. She has since deleted her account."
Wake Forest School of Medicine responded, saying "Thank you for bringing this to our attention. This student's tweet does not reflect how Wake Forest University School of Medicine treats patients and provides patient care. We are taking measures to address this with the student."
Del Rosario has a history of trans activism. In March 2021, Del Rosario advocated for against the "Bathroom Bill" that required individuals to use the gendered bathroom that aligned with the sex recorded on their birth certificate, saying that "policies like these have consequential impacts on the health of transgender people." Del Rosario spoke of plans to make a medical career out of treating the transgender community.
Del Rosario also spoke about being a leader in a "safe zone" in a paper advocating for more affirming transgender policy at the state level for The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship and touted her concern about making sure transgender patients are treated well. This despite bragging about mistreating the patients in her own care.
"I am in a unique position as a leader in Safe Zone in Medicine," Del Rosario wrote, "an organization run by healthcare trainees whose goal is to educate health professionals about the needs and disparities in LGBTQ+ healthcare. This role prepares me to become a trustworthy doctor and advocate for the transgender community—a population which the medical field has harmed greatly in the past. It also allows me to train other healthcare professionals who aim to improve their practice to be more welcoming and gender-affirming."
Del Rosario also complained of having "imposter syndrome" after becoming a doctor and feeling odd saying her name and title. It was also noted that on Twitter, Del Rosario had become frustrated with doctors who don't care about pronouns.
"For all the doctors saying 'I don't care about pronouns' or 'it's too hard to remember,' here are the facts:" Del Rosario shared in a retweet that cited statistics on a decrease in suicide attempts by those whose preferred pronouns are respected, "you better fucking care."
Wake Forest's publicity team responded to a request for comment, saying that "The actions described in this student's social media post do not in any way reflect the quality of care and compassion that Wake Forest University School of Medicine strives to provide to our patients each and every day. We stand behind our values that include trust, excellence and space where all belong, and we actively reinforce those values with learners and providers. While federal law does not permit us to share specific information, we are taking the proper measures to address this matter with the student, school leadership is involved."
This is a breaking story and will be updated with additional responses as they become available. This article was updated with a statement from Wake Forest.