The prevalence of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender health education and training in emergency medicine residency programs: what do we know?

Joel Moll, Paul Krieger, Lisa Moreno-Walton, Benjamin Lee, Ellen Slaven, Thea James, Dustin Hill, Susan Podolsky, Theodore Corbin, Sheryl L Heron
Academic Emergency Medicine: Official Journal of the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine 2014, 21 (5): 608-11

BACKGROUND: The Institute of Medicine, The Joint Commission, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services all have recently highlighted the need for cultural competency and provider education on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) health. Forty percent of LGBT patients cite lack of provider education as a barrier to care. Only a few hours of medical school curriculum are devoted to LGBT education, and little is known about LGBT graduate medical education.

OBJECTIVES: The objective of this study was to perform a needs assessment to determine to what degree LGBT health is taught in emergency medicine (EM) residency programs and to determine whether program demographics affect inclusion of LGBT health topics.

METHODS: An anonymous survey link was sent to EM residency program directors (PDs) via the Council of Emergency Medicine Residency Directors listserv. The 12-item descriptive survey asked the number of actual and desired hours of instruction on LGBT health in the past year. Perceived barriers to LGBT health education and program demographics were also sought.

RESULTS: There were 124 responses to the survey out of a potential response from 160 programs (response rate of 78%). Twenty-six percent of the respondents reported that they have ever presented a specific LGBT lecture, and 33% have incorporated topics affecting LGBT health in the didactic curriculum. EM programs presented anywhere from 0 to 8 hours on LGBT health, averaging 45 minutes of instruction in the past year (median = 0 minutes, interquartile range [IQR] = 0 to 60 minutes), and PDs support inclusion of anywhere from 0 to 10 hours of dedicated time to LGBT health, with an average of 2.2 hours (median = 2 hours, IQR = 1 to 3.5 hours) recommended. The majority of respondents have LGBT faculty (64.2%) and residents (56.2%) in their programs. The presence of LGBT faculty and previous LGBT education were associated with a greater number of desired hours on LGBT health.

CONCLUSIONS: The majority of EM residency programs have not presented curricula specific to LGBT health, although PDs desire inclusion of these topics. Further curriculum development is needed to better serve LGBT patients.

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