44 medical schools reported dedicating no teaching time to LGBT-related content during clinical years, and in preclinical curricula, nine medical schools reported spending no time on LGBT issues, according to a study published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Surveys used in the study were distributed to all 176 allopathic (conventional) and osteopathic medical schools in the U.S. and Canada, and 85% of schools responded.
Across all medical schools that participated, the median time spent on LGBT-related content was just five hours, though time spent varied widely by school.
Perhaps most surprising: 70% of responding schools evaluated their own LBGT curricula as ‘fair’, ‘poor’, or ‘very poor.’
While this sadly isn’t too surprising, it’s super important that studies like this are done. LGBTQ communities are incredibly marginalized when it comes to access and other LGBT-related disparities barely addressed in the health care system, but this study is a reminder of where that process begins. Yes, medical education is just one of a variety of systemic factors responsible for these disparities — it’s still a critical one that needs to be addressed.