Improving Health Care for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Gender Nonconforming

Author: Morehouse School of Medicine
Published: Wednesday 17th December 2014
Summary: Improving health care for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, gender nonconforming and those born with differences of sexual development.

Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM) joined with the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) in creating an important new set of resources aimed at reducing health disparities experienced by people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT), gender nonconforming or born with differences of sex development (DSD). The resources include the first-ever guidelines for training physicians to care for these populations, a report on how to apply these guidelines in the medical school curriculum, and a professional development video series. The guidelines and report were released in November and the video series will be released in January 2015.

People who are LGBT, gender nonconforming or born with DSD often experience challenges when seeking care in doctors' offices, community clinics, hospitals and emergency rooms.

These experiences, which can range from being made to feel unwelcome to outright discrimination and mistreatment, lead to poorer physical and emotional health.

"Addressing health disparities in LGBT populations fits well with Morehouse School of Medicine's tradition of serving the underserved," said Carey Roth Bayer, Ed.D., R.N., C.S.E., Associate Professor of Community Health and Preventive Medicine/Medical Education at Morehouse and Associate Director of Educational Leadership for the Satcher Health Leadership Institute.

The AAMC resource guide identifies 30 competencies that physicians must master.

These competencies fall under eight domains of care critical to training physicians. This competency-based framework will allow medical educators to integrate the new guidelines into existing curricula more easily and encourage faculty and health care professionals to move away from thinking of patients in these groups as separate from the general patient population.

Dr. Bayer served on the AAMC Advisory Committee on Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and Sex Development and wrote and edited several sections of the report. In addition to Dr. Bayer's involvement, current Morehouse School of Medicine medical student Jennifer (Jae) Goines and lore dickey, Ph.D., Health Policy Leadership Fellow from 2011 to 2012, will appear in the professional development videos.

David Satcher, M.D., Ph.D., Director of the Morehouse School of Medicine Satcher Health Leadership Institute and former U.S. Surgeon General has championed Morehouse's leadership role in this project.

"When it comes to neglected areas such as LGBT, gender nonconforming, and DSD patient health, leadership development in addressing health disparities is critical," he said.

"The new AAMC competencies, resource guide, and video series on LGBT, gender nonconforming, and DSD patient health are important for training future physicians to care for all patients in a culturally competent manner," said Valerie Montgomery Rice, M.D., MSM's President and Dean. "I am proud of the leadership of Morehouse School of Medicine faculty, students, and alumni in the development of these groundā€breaking resources."

As a historically black medical school based in the South, Morehouse School of Medicine plays an important role among academic medical centers leading the way in this area. Morehouse has already taken significant steps to create an inclusive climate for LGBT students, staff and faculty; to teach medical students about sexual health and sexuality; and to address the needs of LGBT patients. For example, all medical students receive training in LGBT and DSD health issues as curricular components in the school's Fundamentals of Medicine courses. Students can also choose fourth year electives on human sexuality, sexually transmitted diseases, and adolescent medicine. In addition, the Pediatric Residency Program ensures that all pediatric residents receive content specific to LGBT and DSD health.

"All people have a sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, and sex development. In general, medical and health professional education has not adequately addressed this reality," Dr. Bayer explained. "Understanding how to sensitively approach sexuality with patients is integral to providing respectful, high quality health care to all, especially those who are LGBT, gender nonconforming, or born with DSD."

The report is available for download at

Founded in 1975, Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM) is among the nation's leading educators of primary care physicians and was recognized by Annals of Internal Medicine in 2011 as the top institution in the first study of U.S. medical schools for our social mission based on our production of primary care physicians, training of underrepresented minority doctors and placement of doctors practicing in underserved communities. MSM faculty and alumni are noted for excellence in teaching, research and public policy, as well as exceptional patient care.

Morehouse School of Medicine is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award doctoral and master's degrees. For more information, please visit

The Association of American Medical Colleges is a not-for-profit association representing all 141 accredited U.S. and 17 accredited Canadian medical schools; nearly 400 major teaching hospitals and health systems, including 51 Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers; and nearly 90 academic and scientific societies. Through these institutions and organizations, the AAMC represents 148,000 faculty members, 83,000 medical students, and 115,000 resident physicians.

1. "lore dickey, Ph.D." is not a typo - his legal name is lowercase.

2. The publication executive summary can be accessed at:

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