Meet Molly O'Brien-Horn and Her New Course - Intersex Patients: Rehab and Inclusive Care

Blog INTRSX1 3.22.24

Who are you? Describe your clinical practice.
Hi! I’m Molly O’Brien-Horn. I’m a Pelvic Health Physical Therapist practicing in an outpatient hospital-based clinic in California. I work with patients of a variety of ages, gender identities, and body variations.

What has your educational journey as a pelvic rehab therapist looked like and how did you get involved in the pelvic rehabilitation field?
I started my career in pediatrics and outpatient orthopedics. I began to notice that those patient populations also had pelvic floor dysfunction, in addition to the diagnoses I was seeing them for. I was fortunate enough to shadow a colleague at the time who did pelvic health. That colleague recommended I take Pelvic Function Level 1 with Herman & Wallace, which I did, and I loved it. During the course, I decided that Pelvic Health was what I wanted to do with my life and the rest is history.

What patient population do you find most rewarding to treat and why?
I know it may sound cliché, but variety is the spice of life, right? I like having the ability to treat a variety of diagnoses within the pelvic health field and be able to help as many different people from as many different walks of life as possible. Being able to treat people of all gender identities, sexual orientations, ability levels, body variations, ages, etc. within the pelvic health field is what’s the most rewarding to me.

What lesson have you learned in a course, from an instructor, or from a colleague or mentor that has stayed with you?
Learning how to practice from a trauma-informed lens has really stayed with me. I’ve been fortunate enough to take multiple courses over the years that centered around trauma-informed care. Trying to practice from a trauma-informed lens, especially when working with patient populations who may have experienced trauma or abuse in their lifetime has been so helpful for my practice and growth as a healthcare provider and as a person.

Now that we know a little bit about you, can you tell us about your new course Intersex Patients: Rehab and Inclusive Care?

What made you want to create this course?
I’ve been to plenty of courses about LGBTQIA+ healthcare and Gender-Affirming Care for LGBTQIA+ folx, but I started to notice that Intersex folx were only briefly mentioned if they were mentioned at all. Healthcare providers need to be better educated on how to provide Intersex-Affirming Healthcare and to learn how to be better allies in healthcare to Intersex folx. They also need to be educated on the healthcare needs that are unique and specific to Intersex patient populations, as those needs may be different than non-Intersex LGBTQIA+ folx, and I wanted to make a course to address that.

What need does your course fill in the field of pelvic rehabilitation?
My course fills a gap in healthcare education about how to provide Intersex-Affirming Healthcare and hopefully helps healthcare workers learn how to be better allies to Intersex folx. Many courses don’t address Intersex-specific needs and wishes in healthcare, and I my course can address that. In the course, I’ve included resources, interviews, and quotes from multiple Intersex folx, activists, and advocacy organizations, as well as research from international human rights groups. I wanted this course to include a variety of Intersex voices from different people across different walks of life so that Intersex folx could discuss their specific wishes, asks, and needs from healthcare providers who are working with Intersex folx.

Who, what demographic, would benefit from your course?
Any healthcare provider can benefit from my course, especially pelvic health providers. I wanted as much of my course to be applicable to as many healthcare providers in different fields and different countries as possible. However, some of the treatments may be geared more towards pelvic health providers since I’m a pelvic health PT in the U.S. and that’s the lens I work through.

What message do you want to send to practitioners who take your course?
I want practitioners to know that I hope they enjoy the course, learn something new, and that they walk away from the course as a better ally in healthcare and as a better Intersex-affirming healthcare provider.

Anything else you want to tell us?
I’m just very grateful for this opportunity to teach with Herman & Wallace and debut this course. I really hope that everyone learns and enjoys the course. And I can’t wait to see everyone for the course's inaugural date on May 4th!

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