Teaching LGBTQ+ Health: 10 Clinical Pearls

Mar 23, 21
Teaching LGBTQ+ Health: 10 Clinical Pearls

lgbtq+ health teaching course

Are you confident in your skills when taking care of LGBTQ+ patients? Are you able to teach principles of LGBTQ+ health to trainees in your clinical practice and the classroom setting? Learners across the health professions demand improved LGBTQ+ health content and additional training opportunities in their schools’ curricula. However, most clinician educators received little, if any, training in LGBTQ+ health when they were students.

10 Clinical Pearls on Teaching About LGBTQ+ Health

The following are some sneak-peak clinical pearls from the Teaching LGBTQ+ Health online course that just launched. This open access, interactive, CME course was published in conjunction with National LGBT Health Awareness Week (March 22-26, 2021). It was developed by Stanford Medicine and designed by Dr. Michael Gisondi (Stanford Emergency Medicine), Timothy Keyes (Stanford SOM), Shana Zucker (Tulane SOM), and Deila Bumgardner (Stanford EdTech) in collaboration with the Medical Student Pride Alliance

  1. LGTBQ+ health encompasses so much more than the historical, one-dimensional portrayals of gay men previously used to teach about HIV/AIDS.
  2. Treat your LGBTQ+ patients with dignity and respect by correctly using LGBTQ+ health vocabulary. 
  3. Language is both fluid and deeply personal—not all LGBTQ+ patients refer to themselves with similar terms, and the ways in which these terms are used may change over time.
  4. Sex, gender, and sexual orientation are related but distinct concepts. 
  5. Intersecting minority statuses have a synergistic effect on the health and health-seeking behaviors of LGBTQ+ patients.
  6. The CDC recommends the use of ‘The 5 P’s of Sexual Health’ framework for obtaining a sexual history.
  7. In accordance with the PARTNER2 study, ‘undetectable = untransmittable.’
  8. Compliance with PrEP (pre exposure prophylaxis) for HIV reduces the risk of acquiring HIV by approximately 99%.
  9. Transmasculine patients seek routine primary care and Pap testing less frequently than cisgender patients.
  10. Create inclusive clinical environments that are affirming to queer patients, staff, and students.

Online Course: Teaching LGBTQ+ Health

Teaching LGBTQ+ Health is a new, online, faculty development course designed to bridge the gap between the expectation of faculty teaching competency and a lack of previous training. The intended audience includes educators across the health professions, though the content is also made freely available to all providers, students, patients, and other interested individuals.

This course serves as an introductory primer that assumes no prior knowledge of LGBTQ+ health issues. The course includes both LGBTQ+ health content and recommendations for teaching this material to trainees in any discipline or clinical department. Educators may freely download portions of the course for use in their daily clinical teaching or their school’s curriculum.

This online course is divided into modules that review topics such as LGBTQ+ Vocabulary, Social and Behavioral Determinants of Queer Health, Disease Prevention, and Teaching Strategies, among others. A comprehensive glossary of key terms and 3 interactive, clinical case examples are provided to reinforce key concepts. The entire course is evidence-based and extensive references to medical literature are provided. 

If you learn something new by from our course, we respectfully ask that you share the course within your clinical department and with a few colleagues outside your institution.

Author information

Michael Gisondi, MD

Michael Gisondi, MD

Associate Professor and Vice Chair of Education

Department of Emergency Medicine

Stanford University
Editor, ALiEM EM Match Advice series

The post Teaching LGBTQ+ Health: 10 Clinical Pearls appeared first on ALiEM.

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