LGBT healthcare disparities: What progress have we made?

Patient Educ Couns. 2017 Dec;100(12):2357-2361. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2017.06.003. Epub 2017 Jun 10.


Nearly fifteen years have passed since this author's publication which examined the depth of education and training for medical students and practicing physicians specific to clinical competence in the care of lesbian and gay patients in the United States. Since then, there has been an explosion of research gains which have shed a steady light on the needs and disparities of lesbian and gay healthcare. This rich literature base has expanded to include bisexual and transgender (LGBT) healthcare in peer-reviewed journals. Despite these research gains underscoring a call for action, there continues to be a dearth of cultural competency education and training for healthcare professionals focused on clinical assessment and treatment of LGBT patients. This article will focus exclusively on the current status of medical and nursing education and training specific to clinical competence for LGBT healthcare. We are long overdue in closing the clinical competency gap in medical and nursing education to reduce the healthcare disparities within the LGBT community.

Keywords: Bisexual; Communication; Communication training; Continuing education; Cultural competence; Education; Gay; Health disparity; LGBT; Lesbian; Medical education; Nurse-patient; Nursing education; Physician-patient communication; Training; Transgender.

MeSH terms

  • Bisexuality
  • Clinical Competence*
  • Communication
  • Cultural Competency*
  • Education, Medical / trends
  • Education, Nursing / trends
  • Female
  • Health Personnel / education*
  • Health Personnel / trends
  • Healthcare Disparities / trends*
  • Homosexuality, Female
  • Homosexuality, Male
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Patient Care Team / trends*
  • Sexual and Gender Minorities*
  • Transgender Persons
  • United States