The prevalence of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender health education and training in emergency medicine residency programs: Where are we now?

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AEM Educ Train. 2021 Apr 1;5(2):e10580. doi: 10.1002/aet2.10580. eCollection 2021 Apr.


BACKGROUND: Despite identified inequities and disparities in lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning (LGBTQ+) health, past studies have shown little or no education at the medical school or residency level for emergency physicians. With increased focus on health inequities and disparities, we sought to reexamine the status of sexual and gender minority health education in U.S. emergency medicine (EM) residencies.

OBJECTIVES: Our primary objective was to determine how many EM residencies offer education on LGBTQ+ health. Secondary objectives included the number of actual versus preferred hours of LGBTQ+ training, identification of barriers to providing education, and correlation of education with program demographics. Finally, we compared our current data with past results of our 2013 study.

METHODS: The initial survey that sought to examine LGBTQ+ training in 2013 was used and sent in 2020 via email to EM programs accredited by the American Council for Graduate Medical Education who had at least one full class of residents in 2019. Reminder emails and a reminder post on the Council of Residency Directors in Emergency Medicine listserv were used to increase participation.

RESULTS: A total of 229 programs were eligible, with a 49.3% response rate (113/229). The majority (75%) offered education content on LGBTQ+ health, for a median (IQR) of 2 (1-3) hours and a range of 0 to 22 hours. Respondents preferred more hours of education than offered (median desired hours = 4, IQR = 2-5 hours; p < 0.001). The largest barrier identified was lack of time in curriculum (63%). The majority of programs had known LGBTQ+ faculty and residents. Inclusion and amount of education hours positively correlated with presence of LGBTQ+ faculty or residents; university- and county-based programs were more likely to deliver education content than private groups (p = 0.03). Awareness of known LGBTQ+ residents but not faculty differed by region, but there was no significant difference in actual or preferred content by region.

CONCLUSION: The majority of respondents offer education in sexual and gender minority health, although there remains a gap between actual and preferred hours. This is a notable increase from 26% of responding programs providing education in 2013. Several barriers still exist, and the content, impact, and completeness of education remain areas for further study.

PMID:33817541 | PMC:PMC8011615 | DOI:10.1002/aet2.10580