Leaders from the nation's medical schools and teaching hospitals will convene in Chicago Nov. 7-11 when the Association of American Medical Colleges holds it annual meeting to discuss the latest issues facing the academic medicine community.
One topic will be the role of academic medicine in addressing the current health disparities affecting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender populations. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, LGBT people are more likely to experience poorer health associated with discrimination and social stigma.
“Medical education increases awareness and knowledge of the health needs of people who may be LGBT and trains current and future physicians to provide high-quality, patient-centered care to LGBT populations,” said Marc Nivet, the AAMC's chief diversity officer.
Equality in healthcare access for LGBT populations has been recognized for years as an issue. Prejudicial policies, biased attitudes among some healthcare workers and an outright refusal to administer care in some instances have created barriers. Those hurdles have been associated with higher rates of substance abuse and psychiatric disorders.
According to a research brief released in February by the Kaiser Family Foundation, LGBT people were more likely than heterosexuals to have chronic conditions and disabilities as a results of those conditions. The study also found that LGBT individuals had higher rates of unmet medical needs due to cost, and were less likely to have a regular healthcare provider.
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