Caitlin W. is a patient advocate committed to bridging the gap between patients and providers.
Caitlin W. is a patient advocate committed to bridging the gap between patients and providers. Caitlin W. is a researcher and educator by day, with a PhD in microbiology. She chose to dive into patient advocacy when she experienced the gaps in public knowledge of sexual medicine. Caitlin was diagnosed with neuroproliferative vestibulodynia in 2018 after years of chronic pain, searching for answers, and being told it was “all in her head.” Through a stroke of luck, she found out that sexual medicine was a field of medicine and there were specialists trained to help her. After finally getting the answers she was searching for, Caitlin began a long, and ongoing, journey of treatment and healing.
Frustrated by the barriers to finding up-to-date, evidence-based information, Caitlin decided to work on building a bridge between sexual medicine specialists and ill-informed patients. In 2019, she launched her website www.sexmedadvocate.com and became active on social media, with the goal of teaching patients about the cutting-edge research in the field of sexual medicine and latest standards-of-care. Caitlin recognizes that researchers’ and clinicians’ knowledge is inaccessible to most patients due to journal paywalls and scientific jargon. She is using her science background to be a bridge between patients and providers by sharing scientific research in a format that is accessible to everyone.
Caitlin joined ISSWSH as a patient advocate member in 2019. She has presented research projects at multiple ISSWSH annual meetings that aim to make patient’s voices heard and connect more patients with knowledgeable providers. She serves on ISSWSH committees on behalf of patients to ensure that ISSWSH continues their commitment to effectively meeting patients’ needs.