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Thu Feb 20, 2020, 07:18 PM

U.S. medical schools boost LGBTQ students, doctor training (AP)

U.S. medical schools boost LGBTQ students, doctor training
https://apnews.com/985d50d0a7b1b593acd0dd791e8c3118

Aliya Feroe recalls the flustered OB-GYN who referred her to another physician after learning she identified as queer. For Rhi Ledgerwood, who was designated female at birth, identifies as trans and doesn’t have sex with men, it was a doctor advising about condoms and pregnancy prevention. For Tim Keyes, who came out as gay at age 17, it’s when doctors automatically assumed he sleeps with women.

Ask any LGBTQ patient about awkward doctor visits and chances are they’ll have a story to tell.

When being heterosexual is presumed even in doctors’ offices, those who identify otherwise can feel marginalized and less likely to seek medical care, contributing to health problems that include high rates of depression, suicidal behavior, alcohol and drug use and inadequate health screenings, LGBTQ advocates say.

Now, moves are afoot to remedy that. The American Medical Association vowed in November to push for a federal ban on gay conversion therapy. Medical schools are beefing up education on LBGTQ health issues. And some schools are making a major push to recruit LGBTQ medical students, backed by research showing that patients often get better care when treated by doctors more like them.

Feroe, Keyes and Ledgerwood — all pursuing medical careers — are part of the trend.

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In my own life I've been lucky lately. Mostly this comes from living in a big city with a politically active gay community (Chicago). But I do know about this from previous experience, and it's about time.

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