Are med students learning enough about LGBT health?

33 percent of medical deans reported no instruction on LGBT-related health content during clinical years.

Medical students spend countless hours in the classroom learning the ins and outs of medicine, every inch of human anatomy and how to diagnose rare diseases. They only spend about five hours, however, learning about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender health.

That’s according to a newly released survey by the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Medical Education Research Group at Stanford University School of Medicine.

The study, which was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, asked deans of medical education how many hours they spend on LGBT-related curricular content. The median answer was about five hours.

“Some doctors may not realize what they don’t know about LGBT health and health care, and that can be dangerous,” said Elizabeth Goldsmith, a student at Stanford University School of Medicine and one of the co-authors of the study. “If doctors aren’t prepared to treat patients with particular sexual orientations or gender identities, or aren’t comfortable with their patients, trust is much harder to build between patient and care provider.”

Of the 132 U.S. and Canadian deans who completed the questionnaire, about 33 percent reported not covering LGBT-related health content at all during clinical years.  

That means medical students could be missing out on instruction for handling key health issues for the LGBT population. That, Goldsmith says, could put lives at risk.

“Some lesbians have gone decades without a Pap smear because their doctors have told them it isn’t necessary,” she said. “But HPV can be passed between women, and some of these women have developed cervical cancer that could have been prevented.”

The survey’s findings, though, do demonstrate that the need for improvement is recognized in the medical community. About 25 percent of respondents rated their own schools’ coverage of LGBT-related curricular material as “good” or “very good,” but more than 70 percent rated coverage as “fair,” “poor,” or “very poor.”

The push for more research on LGBT-related health content has gained attention recently. The National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine issued a report this year describing LGBT health-related areas in particular need of study.

“What I can say is that zero time, which, unfortunately, some schools do seem to dedicate, especially during clinical training, is not enough,” said Goldsmith. “As with every other area of science, research is the foundation of successful action here.  We’re working to help build the foundation.” 



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

Many deaths as boat with African emigrants sinks…

BENGHAZI Libya (Reuters) - A boat packed with up to 250 African emigrants trying to reach European shores sank on Sunday off the Libyan coast…

Local

State health department warns against rare respiratory virus…

The New York State Department of Health is calling upon parents to be aware of the symptoms of enterovirus EV-D68. More than 12 children across the…

National

Liberal Vermont Senator Sanders may seek U.S. presidency…

By Will DunhamWASHINGTON (Reuters) - Bernie Sanders, one of the Senate's leading liberals, said on Sunday he is thinking about running for U.S. president in…

Money

Second Shift: Turning fun into money

In this week's Second Shift series, meet a New Yorker who has established two successful careers around having fun.

Movies

Dan Stevens kisses Cousin Matthew goodbye

Dan Stevens wanted a change and he certainly got one. After quickly developing a devoted fan base as Matthew Crawley on "Downton Abbey," the 32-year-old…

Movies

Nerd alert: Genesis Rodriguez, robot-maker

Geeks of the world, you're about to fall in love with Genesis Rodriguez. There's no point in resisting. The actress, appearing in Kevin Smith's totally…

The Word

The Word: Kanye West wants everyone on their…

Maybe we can blame this one on the migraine, too. Kanye West is drawing ire for halting a performance in Sydney when his demands that…

Movies

That's a wrap on TIFF 2014

This year's Toronto International Film Festival closes without the satisfying sense of certainty that had become a mainstay in recent years. Last year, for example,…

NFL

3 things we learned in Jets loss to…

The wheels came off for the Jets, who gave up 21 unanswered points after a brilliant first 20 minutes in a 31-24 loss at the Packers.

NFL

Victor Cruz catches case of the drops in…

The Giants dropped a tough, 25-14, decision to the undermanned Cardinals Sunday in their home opener. And drop was the operative word of the day,…

NFL

Giants vs. Cardinals: 3 things we learned

The Giants heard all week about how ragged their new offense has looked, but even when they finally answered the bell they still can’t find a way to win.

NFL

About a quarter of football players will get…

About one in four National Football League players are likely to end up suffering cognitive impairments during their lifetime, according to a report.

Home

DIY design: Try this upcycle furniture project

Tiffany Threadgould is living a DIY life. The Chief Design Junkie at TerraCycle, an international waste management company headquartered in Trenton, New Jersey, grew up…

Parenting

The downside of a BFF

For teenage girls a best friend can mean everything, but the way they deal with their problems together can lead to depression

Education

How many colleges should I apply to? Your…

To the average high school senior, creating the perfect college application can seem like a golden ticket into their future. Students and their parents spend…

Career

How Generation Z will change the way Americans…

What to learn how to establish a career in this new economy? Look no further than the current generation of young people - that is,…