LOS ANGELES — A new study from the American Journal of Public Health reports that finding doctors competent to care for LGBT patients in the U.S. is difficult, Health 24 reports.
“As medical organizations we really should be making a better effort to identify providers that can provide competent healthcare,” said Dr. Allison Diamant, the study’s senior author from the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles.
For the study, led by medical student Joshua Khalili, researchers asked the chief medical officers or deans of the 138 accredited U.S. teaching hospitals to complete a 15-minute survey in 2012. Half of the schools responded to the survey.
Only a handful of respondents reported procedures or policies to identify LGBT-competent physicians. Overall, 15 percent of respondents said their hospital had a list of LGBT-competent doctors. Most of those lists were available to the public on the internet. A couple of the lists were internal documents.
Sixteen percent of respondents said their institutions offered comprehensive LGBT-competency training. About a third said there was some level of training available, but over half said they offered no training. About 80 percent of respondents said they wanted to do more to develop policies and programs to enhance the care of LGBT people, Health 24 reports.