Many Med Schools Score Poorly in Teaching Gay/Lesbian
TUESDAY, Sept. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Medical schools set aside
an average of only seven hours for topics related to the health
care needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT)
patients, a new study says.
The survey of deans of 150 American and Canadian medical schools
also found wide variation in the amount, content and quality of
instruction on LGBT health.
For example, a third of the schools had no LGBT content during
their clinical years, about 7 percent had no content during
preclinical years, and about 4 percent had no content in any of
And while most (97 percent) taught that physicians should ask
patients if they have sex with men, women, or both when obtaining a
sexual history, less than two-thirds of schools taught about the
difference between sexual behavior and identity (for example, that
a man might have sex with men and yet self-identify as
The findings appear Sept. 7 in a medical education theme issue
Journal of the American Medical Association.
"Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals have specific health and health care needs," wrote Dr. Juno Obedin-Maliver, Stanford University School of Medicine, and colleagues. Some of these pertain to HIV and other sexually transmitted infections, adult and adolescent health issues and issues around gender identity, among others, he said.
Compared to their peers who are not LGBT, this group is "more
likely to face barriers accessing appropriate medical care, which
may create or increase existing disparities," Obedin-Maliver
While experts have called for medical schools to cover LGBT
issues, the actual content and amount of such training hasn't been
known, the study authors noted.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more
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