Better Training Needed to Boost LGBTQ Patient Health Care

THURSDAY, Sept. 6, 2018 — High-quality health care needs to be provided to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) patients, and improved training is necessary to deliver that care, according to a report published in the American Medical Association’s AMA Wire.

An expert panel discussion was recently held at the AMA headquarters, and included discussion of the quality of transgender care. The longtime Windy City LGBTQ health care organization treats more than 3,000 transgender or gender-nonconforming patients, and this number has increased in recent years. It is unclear whether the increase is due to an increase in the share of transgender or gender nonconforming patients or better data collection.

At the 2018 AMA Annual Meeting, the House of Delegates adopted several policies, including appropriate placement of transgender prisoners, support for family and medical level for LGBTQ workers, promotion of LGBTQ-friendly and gender-neutral intake forms, and creation of a section council on LGBTQ Health. Other panelists at the discussion raised issues, including knowledge gaps among transgender women, such as in relation to skin changes during hormone therapy and laser hair-removal, and understanding screening guidelines for transgender patients.

“There is significant opportunity for straight physicians to help the LGBTQ community because of their critical role in decision-making that affects the lives of individual patients. And as allies, physicians and other medical professionals can help amplify the voices of LGBTQ patients,” according to the report.

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Posted: September 2018

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