Integrating Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Content Into Undergraduate Medical School Curricula: A Qualitative Study

Ochsner J. 2012 Winter;12(4):379-82.


Background: The lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community is a diverse, underserved, and often stigmatized group that faces many barriers to accessing quality healthcare. Not only are few practicing physicians knowledgeable about and sensitive to the needs of LGBT patients, but medical school curricula include limited LGBT-related content. Our goals were to use LGBT-related educational sessions to gauge undergraduate medical students' interest and their perceptions of relevance and to eventually incorporate this topic into the curriculum.

Methods: We provided 4 educational sessions to preclinical medical students at the Tulane University School of Medicine: 3 optional, 1-hour didactic sessions and 1 standardized patient encounter. Following sessions 1-3, students completed electronic feedback forms; we then analyzed their responses thematically.

Results: THE THEMATIC ANALYSIS OF STUDENT RESPONSES IDENTIFIED KEY THEMES: a current lack of exposure to LGBT content, agreement that LGBT material is applicable to students' work as future physicians, and the relevance of including such information in the medical school curriculum.

Conclusion: The study validated the underlying assumption that LGBT educational sessions are meaningful to and valued by medical students.

Keywords: Cultural literacy; homosexuality; medical education; transgenderism.