JOURNAL ARTICLE

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) physicians' experiences in the workplace

Michele J Eliason, Suzanne L Dibble, Patricia A Robertson
Journal of Homosexuality 2011, 58 (10): 1355-71
22029561
Little is known about the experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) physicians in the workplace. There is little formal education in medical school about LGBT issues, and some heterosexual physicians have negative attitudes about caring for LGBT patients or working with LGBT coworkers, setting the stage for an exclusive and unwelcoming workplace. The current study used an online survey to assess a convenience sample of 427 LGBT physicians from a database of a national LGBT healthcare organization, as well as a snowball sample generated from the members of the database. Although rates of discriminatory behaviors had decreased since earlier reports, 10% reported that they were denied referrals from heterosexual colleagues, 15% had been harassed by a colleague, 22% had been socially ostracized, 65% had heard derogatory comments about LGBT individuals, 34% had witnessed discriminatory care of an LGBT patient, 36% had witnessed disrespect toward an LGBT patient's partner, and 27% had witnessed discriminatory treatment of an LGBT coworker. Few had received any formal education on LGBT issues in medical school or residency. It appears that medical schools and health care workplaces continue to ignore LGBT issues and operate in discriminatory fashion far too often.

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