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LGBTQI+ Health Training in Medical Education: A Quantitative and Qualitative Investigation

Chase Ossenkop

University of Texas Medical Branch


Purpose: We assessed changes in knowledge and comfort level regarding lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex (LGBTQI+) health and sexual health in students from medical school and schools of health professions who attended an interprofessional intensive two hour training program. There is little research on both the frequency and efficacy of LGBTQI+ education in the medical field with the few studies available suggesting that clinical LGBTQI+ exposure leads to improved clinical skills and more positive attitudes towards LGBTQI+ individuals. It has been established that the LGBTQI+ population experiences numerous health disparities, increased rates of abuse and discrimination, and are medically underserved relative to the cisgender heterosexual population. The National LGBT Health Education Center has shown that 45.7% of transgender individuals experience discrimination in healthcare. Overall, 16-45% of LGBTQI+ Americans report that they have been discriminated against in a healthcare setting. These negative healthcare experiences have led to avoidance of attempts to access healthcare with 62.8% of transgender patients that experienced this discrimination reporting healthcare avoidance in the last 12 months. The Allies in Medicine training program was developed to address this important gap in education at the University of Texas Medical Branch (University of Texas Medical Branch ). This intensive clinically based training covers the topics of sex, gender, sexual orientation, romantic orientation, LGBTQI+ medical history, terminology, inclusive medical documentation, sexual practices and inclusive sexual history. Methods: We recruited students from the University of Texas Medical Branch (University of Texas Medical Branch ) to participate in a two hour voluntary Allies in Medicine LGBTQI+ health training. Participants (n = 242) completed pre- and post surveys assessing knowledge and comfort level of LGBTQI+ health and sexual health. Results: Participants represented multiple schools including medical, PA, nursing, graduate school of biomedical sciences, physical therapy, and occupational therapy. Significant improvements were found between pre- and post-training in all items assessing knowledge and comfort level of LGBTQI+ health and sexual health. Attendees who identified as LGBTQI+ were found to have higher levels of pre-training knowledge and comfort than cisgender heterosexual attendees. Analyses comparing medical students to non-medical students did not find differences between pre-train

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