What resources do you wish existed? (for LGBT medical students and professionals and for patients)

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AZRobbins

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Hi Everyone,

I'm curious to know if there are resources that you wish existed for LGBT+ pre-meds or med students, for LGBT+ medical professionals, or for LGBT+ patients.

Do you wish that you had more comprehensive LGBT+-health-related training in medical school? Do you wish that you had more guidance in navigating the med-school admissions process as an LGBT+ person? Do you see doctors struggling to talk to or advise their LGBT+ patients? Do you see LGBT+ patients struggling to communicate to their doctors?
Or was there a particular program or set of programs that you found especially beneficial for students, practitioners, or patients?

I'm interested to see people's experiences and opinions about where problems exist for LGBT people in medicine (and where things are going right).
 
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suninthesky

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Good questions. I can give the perspective of a transmale student/patient. I want to reply to this, but I feel like I need to study. I have a lot of thoughts and I'll write them out when I get the chance.
 
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otterxavier

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Honestly, the deficit that I feel most acutely is a lack of out faculty/attendings. My institution has a reputation for being quite LGBTQ-friendly and has a lot of queer students, but I can count the number of faculty who are publicly out on one hand. This means that queer students struggle to find professional role models. Perhaps more critically, it also makes it easier for doctors to continue to perceive LGBTQ people as patients rather than colleagues. That perspective is, I think, a fundamental obstacle for any marginalized group trying to advocate for more respectful healthcare.

While there's a decent amount of high-quality formal resources out there, they will only be used by people who actively seek them out -- which is usually not the people who need them the most. Working with an out colleague creates opportunities for informal conversations that can shift the perspective of people who are otherwise unlikely to give much thought to LGBTQ health.

edit with additional thoughts: So, perhaps it would be valuable to have resources discussing when and how to navigate being out at various career stages: as a med school applicant, student, residency applicant, resident/fellow, attending; with colleagues vs. with patients; what if I want to be a visible advocate vs. what if I don't; etc. This is something that comes up in conversation with literally every other trans healthcare worker that I meet, and seems to be a professional struggle for a lot of people.
 
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ed*26

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I agree as well. My program is welcoming, but finding an LGBT role model takes some digging. There is a smattering of attendings around that are happy to talk, but most don't really interact with their identities in any organized way (and most tend to be white cisgender gay men, which I am not).
There's just no structure to it in the same way that there is for other minority associations. It's sometimes hard to see where I can make my identity and career interests fit together. I'd love to have access to more role models and mentors.
 
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PedsAttending

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When I was in med school, literally the ONLY LGBT training we ever got was a mention in a lecture on domestic violence that domestic violence happens in same-sex relationships, too.

I worked to change that. Not sure if I had much effect, but I hope they do better than that now.
 
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