The distinctive health needs of LGBT community is not given due importance in the undergraduate medical schools’ curriculum, says a new study.
A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggests that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals experience health and health care disparities and have specific health care needs.
Researchers from Stanford University School of Medicine in the study suggested that the medical schools spend very less time teaching students about the health issues the LGBT community faces.
“It is just five hours in the entire curriculum.”
The study reveals that out of 176 surveys, which they conducted in the U.S, and Canada, 70 percent of 132 respondents described their school’s coverage of LGBT problems, but only eight topics were covered at 83 schools and all 16 LGBT-specific topics only in 11 schools.
Most common of them revolved around HIV, other sexually transmitted infections, gender identity and mental health issues.
Though medical schools do address most of these elementary LGBT health issues, but “it needs to go deeper,” said Juno Obedin-Maliver, the lead author of the study.
According to the survey report, 128 schools taught their medical students to ask patients if they “have sex with men, women, or both” when obtaining a sexual history. However, most of the respondents did not know whether the difference was taught.
The study brings out the fact that new doctors often have misleading notion about lesbians and gays, and they need adequate education on the subject during their undergraduate study.