American College of Physicians Internal Medicine Meeting

American College of Physicians Internal Medicine Meeting

May 01, 2015
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ACP releases updated guide for LGBT health care

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BOSTON- The significantly updated second edition of The Fenway Guide to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Health was released today by the ACP at the Internal Medicine Meeting.

“The ACP…cares about every single patient in this country. Whoever we see, we want to take the best care of them. While we have that commitment, we also need information. Our commitment to all members of the community, and  in particular the LGBT people … we really want to make sure that we have the right information so that we can care and understand the epidemiology and the specific problems with those patients,” Robert Centor, MD, board of regents, ACP, said in a press conference. 

Robert Centor

According to co-editor Harvey Makadon, MD, director of the National LGBT health education center at the Fenway Institute, the book is something that can be used in primary and general care practice, in addition to public health organizations, researchers and policy makers.

Since LGBT health care is not part of most medical school curriculums, a great deal of physicians, either currently training or already in the field, have much to learn about LGBT patients in order to care for them, according to the ACP. Many medical schools have begun using the first edition of Fenway in their teaching curriculum, which is important since the LGBT population faces added challenges, such as an increased risk for bullying and homelessness; a higher risk for depression, anxiety, self-harm and suicide; higher rates of smoking and drug usage; and a significantly higher risk for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.

The updated edition, which touches on many life stages, includes chapters on gender identity development in youth and adolescents, the coming out process, caring for youth, complete transgender health care and aging as an LGBT patient. The book also addresses the potential prejudices and stigmas physicians may have regarding LGBT patients, and how to make practices inviting and inclusive to these patients.

“I just came from a local hospital…and they have everyone in the hospital wearing a small rainbow sticker on their identification tags to suggest that they are LGBT allies, which does give an important sign to patients, employees, students, and others training in the hospital that this is a welcoming and affirmative place to get care. I think we have to do that in more places around the country,” Makador said in the press conference. – by Casey Hower

For More Information:

American College of Physicians publishes second edition of The Fenway Guide to LGBT Health.

Presented at: ACP Internal Medicine Meeting; April 30-May 2, 2015; Boston.

Disclosures: Healio.com/Internal Medicine was unable to confirm relevant financial disclosures at the time of publication.