As part of ISGMH’s Current Issues in LGBTQ Health lecture series, post-doctoral fellow Dr. Lauren Beach presented an informative cultural competency training in LGBTQ health care hosted by Northwestern Medicine. The lecture had more than 300 participants in attendance, with audience members joining remotely from across the country.
Research has shown that a significant proportion of LGBTQ patients avoid seeking medical care out of fear of discrimination, and that experiencing discrimination is associated with a range of negative health outcomes. In the training, Dr. Beach emphasized how using inclusive language and having open conversations with patients instead of making assumptions is crucial to truly patient-centered care. “The way people express themselves may not align with the pronouns they use, so it’s always important to ask and get this right,” she advised. According to Dr. Beach, normalizing and de-stigmatizing the conversation about sexual orientation and gender identity is is essential to ensuring LGBTQ patients are comfortable and confident in conversations with their providers.