JOURNAL ARTICLE

Is the Lack of Specific Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer/Questioning (LGBTQ) Health Care Education in Medical School a Cause for Concern? Evidence From a Survey of Knowledge and Practice Among UK Medical Students

Vishnu Parameshwaran, Beatrice C Cockbain, Miriam Hillyard, Jonathan R Price
Journal of Homosexuality 2017, 64 (3): 367-381
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Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer/questioning (LGBTQ) people frequently report negative health care encounters. Medical professionals may inadequately manage LGBTQ persons' health if they have not received training in this area. An anonymous survey measuring efficacy in health situations among LGBTQ persons was answered by 166 medical students across all years of a UK university. Results show that 84.9% of participants reported a lack of LGBTQ health care education, with deficits in confidence clarifying unfamiliar sexual and gender terms, deciding the ward in which to nurse transgender patients, finding support resources, and discussing domestic abuse with LGBTQ patients. Most participants reported that they would not clarify gender pronouns or ask about gender or sexual identity in mental health or reproductive health settings. Participants reported infrequently observing doctors making similar inquiries. Participants held positive attitudes toward LGBTQ patients, with attitude scores positively correlating with LGBTQ terminology knowledge scores (rs  = 0.5052, p < .01). Addressing gender identity and sexuality issues within medical curricula may remove barriers to accessing health care and improve encounters for LGBTQ patients.

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