Comprehensive Curriculum for Internal Medicine Residents on Primary Care of Patients Identifying as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, or Transgender

MedEdPORTAL. 2020 Feb 7;16:10875. doi: 10.15766/mep_2374-8265.10875.


Introduction: Significant gaps remain in the training of health professionals regarding the care of individuals who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT). Although curricula have been developed at the undergraduate medical education level, few materials address the education of graduate medical trainees. The purpose of this curriculum was to develop case-based modules targeting internal medicine residents to address LGBT primary health care.

Methods: We designed and implemented a four-module, case-based, interactive curriculum at one university's internal medicine residency program. The modules contained facilitator and learner guides and addressed four main content areas: understanding gender and sexuality; performing a sensitive history and physical examination; health promotion and disease prevention; and mental health, violence, and reproductive health. Knowledge, perceived importance, and confidence were assessed before and after each module to assess curricular effectiveness and acceptability. General medicine faculty delivered these modules.

Results: Perceived importance of LGBT topics was high at baseline and remained high after the curricular intervention. Confidence significantly increased in many areas, including being able to provide resources to patients and to institute gender-affirming practices (p < .05). Knowledge improved significantly on almost all topics (p < .0001). Faculty felt the materials gave enough preparation to teach, and residents perceived that the faculty were knowledgeable.

Discussion: This resource provides an effective curriculum for training internal medicine residents to better understand and feel confident addressing LGBT primary health care needs. Despite limitations, this is an easily transferable curriculum that can be adapted in a variety of curricular settings.

Keywords: Case-Based Learning; Communication Skills; Competency-Based Medical Education; Cultural Competence; Diversity; Editor's Choice; Gender Identity; Gender Issues in Medicine; Health Equity; Human Sexuality; Inclusion; LGBTQ; Primary Care.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Clinical Competence / standards*
  • Curriculum*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Internal Medicine / education*
  • Internship and Residency*
  • Male
  • Primary Health Care*
  • Problem-Based Learning
  • Sexual and Gender Minorities*