Integrating LGBTQ+ health into medical education
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Integrating LGBTQ+ health into medical education

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LGBTQ+ people experience significant barriers in accessing health care including inadequate provider knowledge and stigma in health care settings. Undergraduate medical education programs have increased efforts to integrate LGBTQ+ health topics, such as comprehensive sexual history taking and gender-affirming practices, into their curriculums to provide clinically inclusive care for LGBTQ+ patients.


A Topic Steward was appointed to oversee the integration of LGBTQ+ health topics throughout the existing undergraduate medical curriculum. The aim was to expand the LGBTQ+ health curriculum for undergraduate medical students through teaching comprehensive sexual history taking; offering specialty-specific LGBTQ+ health education through clerkships; describing the difference between sex assigned at birth, gender identity, and gender expression; describing the difference between sexual orientation and sexual behaviour; identifying health care disparities that LGBTQ+ people experience; and developing an inclusive approach to providing medical care for LGBTQ+ patients.


The program started in July 2017 with UCSFSOM students in their first, second, or third years (~150 medical students per year) participating in the integrated curriculum that included didactic lectures, small group discussions, and LGBTQ+ clerkship opportunities. The hours of LGBTQ+ health curriculum at the UCSFSOM increased from 4.5 hours to 15–20 hours in approximately 2 years under the Topic Steward approach.


The next step is to develop standardised tools for assessing LGBTQ+ health competencies for medical students. This involves integrating more questions regarding LGBTQ+ health topics in traditional exams at UCSFSOM and developing specialty-specific assessment instruments that other medical schools could administer to test core competencies in LGBTQ+ health.

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