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Med Schools Failing to Teach About LGBT Concerns

Med Schools Failing to Teach About LGBT Concerns

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Most major medical schools in the U.S. and Canada spend about five hours total over the course of four years reviewing issues related to LGBT health care, according to a new study published by The Journal of the American Medical Association.

A study of medical schools schools shows that between three and eight hours are spent on the topic during an entire four-year medical school curriculum. Of the 132 respondents who filled out the entire survey, nine reported that LGBT health issues were not at all addressed during the preclinical years, and 44 schools reported that LGBT issues went unaddressed during clinical years. Only 32% of the responding medical school deans said their LGBT health education could be rated as "very good," while 44% said the content was "fair" and 34% said the content was "very poor." Still, 97% of deans said students are taught to ask patients if they have sex with men, women, or both when evaluating the patient's sexual history.

Researchers said this gap in education reflects a larger gap when it comes to medical care for LGBT people, who have specific medical concerns related to sexually transmitted infections and mental health, in addition to standard medical issues they share with the general population. A study released by the Institute of Medicine earlier this year shows that research into health issues for LGBT people has been grossly underdeveloped. To date, research that exists on LGBT groups has focused mainly on gay men and lesbians, not bisexual or transgender people, and has concentrated on adult subjects more than adolescents and the elderly.

Meanwhile, a member of the Weill Cornell Medical College's board of overseers has been linked to a medical clinic in Qatar that claims to help "cure" homosexuality, according to The Cornell Daily Sun. Cornell University's student government is now working to schedule a vote to urge administrators to investigate board of overseers member Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser Al-Missned's involvement with the clinic, after student assembly officers obtain more information on the matter. Sheikha Mozah, the wife of the emir of Qatar, established the clinic in 2006.

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