Children's Mercy: Physician Daryl Lynch Guides Teens Through Adolescence
Travel, wine and work are passions for Daryl Lynch.
A full-time physician at Children’s Mercy Hospital since 1991, Lynch has focused his entire career on adolescent medicine.
“It’s a young field of medicine, created about 1975 or so and then becoming eligible for board certification in 1994,” he said.
Only about 500 physicians worldwide – including Lynch – are certified in this specialty.
Lynch is senior medical director of ambulatory services at Children’s Mercy, as well as director of the division of adolescent medicine.
He got his undergraduate degree at Friends University in Wichita and his medical degree at the University of Kansas. It took four years of medical school, three years of residency, and three years of fellowship to reach Lynch’s certification.
“With one more year of training, I could have been a plastic surgeon in Beverly Hills,” said Lynch with a chuckle.
But it’s apparent that he does not regret the choice. Clearly, working with teenagers at a leading pediatric hospital has been his true calling.
Lynch grew up in the remote southwestern Kansas town of Hugoton. His experience as an adolescent in a small community with limited support for LGBT youth was a major influence on his career choice.
Lynch was instrumental in bringing Children’s Mercy to the Mid-America Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, viewing the chamber as a valuable asset to the hospital for recruitment and support.
“Once I came out,” he said, “I became a crusader.”
Lynch is an enthusiastic supporter of MAGLCC, enjoying the networking events personally and professionally. He believes the chamber could find ways to broaden its impact by reaching out to a greater diversity of businesses and including more “blue-collar” professions.
Children’s Mercy received the Corporate Equality Award in 2014, recognizing leadership in LGBT equality initiatives, from the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. It was the first hospital in Kansas City to receive the award. The hospital was also honored as a Leader in Healthcare Equality in the Human Rights Campaign’s Healthcare Equality Index.
Lynch notes that Children’s Mercy supports a transgender clinic called Gender Pathway Services that has a base of 100 families, one of the largest in the country.
Work and advocacy are priorities, but Lynch finds time for recreation as well. He is a member of six wine clubs, saying, “I like all kinds of wines.”
And he is able and willing to search out good bottles.
“We love to travel,” says Lynch, who shares his taste for good wine with his partner, Rubin. “Everywhere we go, I say, ‘This is a nice place.’”
Their latest trip was to a village near San Diego, where they purchased some very nice wine, albeit with a bit of adventure. At the airport (despite the winery’s assurance), the case of bottles to be checked had to be repacked individually, requiring some scrambling between the terminal and a FedEx store for supplies.
“I finally got my 12 bottles of wine, but it cost me 80 bucks to get it on the plane!” Lynch said.
In his other travels, spending two weeks in Hawaii is an important yearly tradition, and a trip to Italy is coming up soon.
However, Kansas City always pulls him back.
“Every time we have one of these discussions, you know, Kansas City is a nice place. It’s affordable, it’s cultured, we’ve got a nice gay community. We love our house and our neighbors!”
He has two daughters that he is most proud of, noting that they “really like helping.”
And the same, of course, can also be said for Lynch.
Photo credit: Landon Vonderschmidt
The Mid-America Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (MAGLCC) is an organization that advocates, promotes and facilitates the success of the LGBT business community and its allies. Learn more at MAGLCC.org.