Survey: OB/GYN Residents Feel Unprepared to Care for LGBTQ+ Patients
Many OB/GYN residents feel unprepared to care for LGBTQ+ patients, according to the results of recent survey.1
Researchers surveyed 105 OB/GYN residents from accredited Illinois training programs. More than half said they felt unprepared to care for lesbian or bisexual patients. Most (76%) felt unprepared to care for transgender patients.
Participating in grand rounds focused on LGBTQ+ health and supervised clinical involvement were linked to feeling prepared to care for transgender patients. Most respondents said their programs included one to five hours a year on lesbian/bisexual and transgender healthcare. The vast majority (92%) wanted more education. Lack of experienced faculty and curricular crowding were the two most commonly identified barriers. “While efforts are underway to improve residency training on topics pertinent to sexual and gender-diverse health, there is much work still to be done,” says Klint Peebles, MD, FAAD, co-chair of the American Academy of Dermatology LGBTQ/Sexual and Gender Minority Expert Resource Group.
Of 90 dermatology residency programs, 18 included no topics relevant to sexual and gender minority patients in the curriculum, according to another study.2 About half (51%) of those program administrators reported they were considering adding sexual and gender minority content. Just as in the study on OB/GYN residents, dermatology residency program directors reported insufficient time in the curriculum schedule and lack of experienced faculty as the biggest barriers.
“Inherent within any beneficent model of healthcare is a fundamental and uncompromising respect for human rights and the right of all individuals to be treated with the utmost dignity,” says Peebles, a member of the American Medical Association Advisory Committee on LGBTQ Issues. “An ethical approach to the care of minoritized and marginalized populations, including sexual and gender minority people, necessitates a lifelong commitment to engagement and learning.”
A fundamental level of preparedness to care for LGBTQ+ patients and to understand their unique healthcare needs is essential. Peebles says residency education should include a comprehensive and inclusive approach to didactic curricula, exposure to clinical environments providing excellence in care for sexual and gender minority patients, and exposure to institutional environments that are inclusive and welcoming.
“The noble effort to ‘meet our patients where they are’ cannot be underestimated. It is one of our most powerful tools in fostering a healthy and rewarding patient-physician relationship,” Peebles says.
- Guerrero-Hall KD, Muscanell R, Garg N, et al. Obstetrics and gynecology resident physician experiences with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer healthcare training. Med Sci Educ 2021;31:599-606.
- Jia JL, Nord KM, Sarin KY, et al. Sexual and gender minority curricula within US dermatology residency programs. JAMA Dermatol 2020;156:593-594.
Lack of experienced faculty and curricular crowding were the two most commonly identified barriers.
Subscribe Now for Access
You have reached your article limit for the month. We hope you found our articles both enjoyable and insightful. For information on new subscriptions, product trials, alternative billing arrangements or group and site discounts please call 800-688-2421. We look forward to having you as a long-term member of the Relias Media community.