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Know How to Communicate with LGBT Patients

Know your patients

The Fenway Institute has created a free set of learning modules designed to introduce healthcare professionals to the LGBT population. Each module has corresponding literature, role playing scenarios, and handouts. Start with Module 1, which, "offers an introduction to LGBT populations and their healthcare needs. Topics include: terminology related to LGBT populations; LGBT population demographics; approaches to culturally appropriate care for LGBT populations, and; ways to create a safe and welcoming environment for LGBT patients."

Familiarize yourself with the questions frequently asked by LGBT patients

GLMA provides LGBT patients with a set of items of discussion to bring up when visiting their healthcare provider based on their orientation. Read over the suggested topics of discussion to give yourself an idea of what your LGBT patients will be asking of you. Reading these materials will also help you better understand the issues facing LGBT patients that they might be hesitant to address voluntarily.

AMA Video Offers Best Practices when Taking a Sexual History

The AMA has recently developed a video to educate physicians on best practices when taking a sexual history. Many healthcare providers know and understand the importance of taking a proper sexual history. Often times, it is the sexual history that reveals additional important facets about the patients, such as their sexual orientation or gen der identity. The video, Patient Sexual Health History: What You Need to Know to Help, offers recommendations and considerations when treating LGBT patients. The video is available online free of charge.