Southcoast Health Celebrates Pride Month: Meet Dr. Kevin Gendreau
Dr. Kevin Gendreau is a primary care physician and a weight-loss specialist at Southcoast Health.
As a doctor practicing family medicine, he cares for newborn babies, children, men, and women of all ages. As a recent graduate of the American Board of Obesity Medicine, he now sees weight loss consults as well!
Back in 2015, Dr. Gendreau weighed 306 pounds. He was diagnosed with morbid obesity, diabetes, fatty liver disease, obstructive sleep apnea and depression.
“For years, I hid behind my weight. I used it as a shield to block me from being my true self. When my sister was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2016, I lost 125 pounds to improve my health so I could better care for her children. After her passing, I became a board-certified weight loss physician to help others change their lives for the better.”
He says a common misconception by patients is that life is “easy” for him now that he’s “skinny.”
“I still deal with the same insecurities, cravings, and social anxiety as I did when I weighed 306 pounds. I’m a work in progress—just like everybody else!”
Dr. Gendreau works in the outpatient setting, seeing patients at his office in Fairhaven and via telehealth from home.
He began working at Southcoast Health after graduating from residency in 2017. “I was born at Charlton Memorial Hospital and raised in Fall River. It’s great to be back home!”
As a child, he was always fascinated by the wondrous world of science. “I knew I wanted to help people from a very young age, but it wasn’t until my father was diagnosed with terminal cancer during my teenage years that I ultimately committed to a career in medicine.”
The field of medicine is fascinating from an intellectual standpoint, but what keeps him going are the relationships he builds with his patients. “Building long-lasting doctor-patient bonds —where we work together toward a common goal — is incredibly fulfilling and exciting!”
As a physician and children’s book author, he recognizes that he may be a potential role model for patients, readers and young members of his community. As such, he feels it’s important to be his most best self and live his most authentic life.
“I have been an open and proud member of the LGBTQ+ community since coming out in my mid-20s. Although I have known I was gay since before puberty, I hid in the closet for many years, fearing social rejection and isolation. Pride Month is an important time of year for me, as I now get to openly celebrate my most unique qualities as a human being.”
The LGBTQ+ community has been fighting for certain civil rights and privileges like gay marriage, the right to serve openly in the military and workplace protections since the events at the Stonewall Inn in 1969.
“I suspect we will need to be our own advocates to ensure equality for years to come! Pride month is important to shed light on members of the LGBTQ+ community as worthy, creative, productive and integral members of our society.”
For anyone struggling with their identity, Dr. Gendreau shares some supportive advice:
“It’s very cliché for an adult, out gay man to say ‘It gets better.’ When you’re in high school, the struggle is real. Everybody is trying to fit in. The focus is certainly not on standing out. Someday, however, you will be loved and embraced for your unique and incredible qualities — sexual orientation and gender identity included! When you’re in the closet, it can feel like agony, dreading that someone may find out your secret. Being in the closet is like living inside a restrictive cocoon for years and years. You’ll be so much happier as a butterfly.”
Currently, Dr. Gendreau is writing a children’s book about the coronavirus pandemic. “I’m also working on a weight-loss book centered around intermittent fasting and a low carbohydrate approach to obesity. I’m hoping to be done with both projects by the end of 2020!”
Learn more about Southcoast Health celebrating diversity and inclusion.