Patients who identify as lesbian, bisexual, gay, transgender, or queer are often underserved when it comes to healthcare. The reasons are many, and include the (often well-founded) perception that they will not be treated with respect; that most healthcare providers are not well-versed in issues particular to the LBGTQ population; and that even the forms all patients have to fill out fail to recognize their gender identity. The American Medical Association is taking steps toward rectifying some of those concerns, having plotted several courses during its recent House of Delegates meeting in San Diego. For one thing, the AMA says it will strengthen its current policy on electronic health records to promote inclusive language to reflect gender, sexual orientation, a transgender patient’s preferred (not just legal) name, and sex-specific anatomy. The Association also adopted a policy to encourage and periodically reassess medical school and residency curricula on sexual orientation and gender identity in basic science, clinical care, and cultural competency. Of course, ensuring all patients are comfortable visiting your urgent care center is not just a clinical issue. Everyone who walks through your front door should feel welcome, and get the sense that they’ll receive excellent care. JUCM took a look at this issue from an urgent-care specific perspective in an article entitled Making Your Urgent Care Center Welcoming for LGBTQ Patients. You can read it now in our archive.
New AMA Guidance Could Help You Appeal to More LGBTQ Patients