According to a report published in yesterday's Journal of the
American Medical Association,
the average school provided just five core hours of curriculum
teaching to the needs of lesbian and gay patients.
Disturbingly, a third of the schools had none at all during the
years students worked directly with patients.
The study surveyed almost 90 per cent of medical schools across
the United States.
According to it's lead author, Dr. Juno Obedin-Maliver of the
University of California, San Francisco, the current approach taken
by medical schools is insufficient - and heightens risk.
"I'm an ob-gyn and I have had lesbian patients come to me and
say I haven't had a Pap test in 20 years because my doctors said I
didn't need one," Obedin-Maliver said.
Without such education, doctors are left guessing and can make
faulty assumptions, Obedin-Maliver told the Atlanta
Currently, the Association of American Medical Colleges
recommends that medical schools ensure students master "the
knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to provide excellent
comprehensive care" for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender