Author(s): Elinor A. Graham, MD; Vanna Waldron

Date Authored: February 27, 2015

Presentation to health care students at Seattle University on December 5, 2014. The talk was organized by Seattle University Students for Sexual and Reproductive Justice. Presenters include Dr. Elinor Graham, with Anab Abdullahi and Dr. Anisa Ibrahim. Topics inclue: Definition of RFGC, types of procedures, anatomy, historical, cultural and medical misconceptions, patient care approach, and impact on gynecological exam.

Introduction 0:00
Speaker Introductions 0:08
Overview of Issue 1:25
Cultural Attachment 5:08
Dr. Anisa Ibrahim 10:28
Experience at HMC 11:14
Objectives 21:54
Definition of RFGC 22:21
Historical & Cultural Misconceptions 22:57
Medical Misconceptions: 30:03
Why has the procedure been done? 41:27
Normal Prepubertal Anatomy 48:28
Full Adolescent 49:02
Types of RFGC Procedures 49:32
East African Girl s/p RFGC: 51:43
Has this child had genital cutting? 54:14
Question: Catheter 58:07
Question: Men’s Role 1:01:48
Discussion: Why is men’s circumcision ok and not female? 1:06:46
Male Circumcision WWII 1:08:43
Question: Impact on Gyn Exam 1:10:03
Patient Care Approach 1:11:07

Information about Speakers

Dr. Elinor Graham MD, MPH, is a pediatrician, a former doctor at Harborview Medical Center and an Associate Professor Emeritus at the University of Washington. She is one of the founders of the Harborview Community House Calls program that provides interpretation and case management to local immigrant communities and of the Ethnomed web site that provides information related to cultural aspects of health beliefs and behavior in these communities. She has been a life-long advocate for health promoting policies, including an effort to legalize a safer, less invasive option of symbolic blood letting for ritual female genital cutting (aka female circumcision) in Washington State. In her retirement Dr. Graham continues to be involved in a pediatric residency-training program in Liberia.

Dr. Anab Abdullahi is a physician trained in Somalia and Italy. She graduated from medical school the same year that civil war broke out in Somalia and eventually immigrated to the United States. She currently works as a Case Worker Cultural Mediator with the Community House Calls at Harborview Medical Center, and is a mother of three sons.

Dr. Anisa Ibrahim is a physician in the 2nd year of her pediatric residency training at Seattle Children’s Hospital. She graduated from the University of Washington School of Medicine and lives with her husband and two children in Seattle.