How to be a good ally to fat patients

I recently switched to a new doctor. The moment I walked into their waiting room, I had a good feeling about this practice. Here’s why:

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It was the chairs. On the left, you can see the regular sized chair right beside me, along with a slightly wider chair perpendicular. These were scattered throughout the waiting area. On the right, you can see a row of three chairs fit together to form a bench. There were two of these. You can also see a small end table next to it.

Not pictured are chairs that are also wider, but instead of being flat, the sides are curved upward, like they have wings. Also not pictured are chairs that were taller than regular chairs, as well as regular height tables and somewhat taller tables.

Basically, this waiting room was made to accommodate a variety of different bodies. Tall ones and short ones, thin ones and fat ones. Bodies that need wheelchairs or walkers have plenty of room to maneuver.

What a radically simply idea – design a waiting room that offers a variety of seating options in a variety of heights and widths, that’s easily maneuverable for people who are using wheelchairs, walkers, or crutches.

Considering how much discrimination fat people face within the healthcare system, having a waiting room designed to accommodate a variety of bodies feels welcoming.