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There is abundant literature and research examining the health inequities of LGBTQ+ people, but there is a lack of research on how medical personnel are contributing to the inequities. Despite large claims that science is devoid of politics and bias, the testimony of LGBTQ+ patients stating that they have been refused care or pathologized due to their gender or sexuality proves otherwise. Reviewing scholars’ claims of how stigma and unconscious bias present themselves in the physician-patient interaction, I argue that physicians’ attitudes are contributing to the health inequities of their LGBTQ+ patients. This review aims to highlight the importance of addressing biases and incorporating LGBTQ+ competent care into medical school curriculums in order to decrease the health gap in this community that is not currently being addressed. The body of evidence strongly suggests that LGBTQ+ people face higher rates of discrimination, substandard care, have systemic difficulties accessing health care and insurance, and that most medical personnel did not touch on LGBTQ+ people in their schooling. It is important to shed light on how physicians are adding to the health inequities in this already marginalized community in order to pressure medical schools to have mandatory LGBTQ+ competency courses, and to have current medical personnel go through bias reducing training and competency workshops. Physicians should be culturally competent to properly care for their patients of varying sexualities and gender, and medical school curricula should be encompassing of LGBTQ+ patients and care. Health inequities in this marginalized population will not decrease until gender and sexuality do not impact the level of health care that a patient receives. Addressing these biases and stigmas will increase the wellbeing of this population and allow them to feel more comfortable disclosing their gender and sexuality to their physicians in order to receive better holistic care.

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The Effects of a Lack of LGBTQ+ Competency in Medical Curricula and Medical Personnel

Monica Banuelos

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