Teaching LGBTQ+ Health: A Faculty Development Course for Health Professions Educators

By Michael A. Gisondi (@MikeGisondi), Deila Bumgardner (@stanfordedtech), Timothy Keyes (@timothykeyes), and Shana Zucker (@ShanaInMedicine)

Teaching LGBTQ+ Health: A Faculty Development Course for Health Professions Educators is an online, open access, continuing education course offered by Stanford Medicine Educational Technology.

This activity was approved for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ by the Stanford University School of Medicine. [Financial disclosures: None. See, ‘About the Authors,’ below. ]

In this post, we:

  • Describe the educational gap filled by Teaching LGBTQ+ Health
  • Request your participation in and dissemination of this free course

The Educational Gap

In 2014, the Association of American Medical Colleges published a landmark compendium of core competencies in lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) medical education. The AAMC called for changes to medical school climate and curriculum in order to address health disparities experienced by LGBTQ+ patients. However, faculty development in LGBTQ+ health content has been insufficient to meet the current student demand for better training.

A survey of US medical school deans found that LGBTQ+ health education content is limited or non-existent at most schools. In a 2019 survey of over 1000 US medical students, the Medical School Pride Alliance (MSPA) found that most LGBTQ+ identifying students were dissatisfied with their schools’ LGBTQ+ curriculum (MSPA, unpublished, 2019).

“My peers know more about queer health than my teachers.”

“My school isn’t doing enough to teach LGBTQ+ health.”

“I don’t feel represented by my school’s curriculum.”

In a subsequent needs assessment, student members of MSPA reported resistance to the addition of queer health topics to their schools’ curriculums due to lack of faculty expertise. Most health professions educators received little or no training in LGBTQ+ health or how to teach this material.

“Our generation wasn’t taught LGBTQ+ health.”

“I’m not sure what language to use.”

“I don’t feel like I know enough to teach LGBTQ+ health.”

Teaching LGBTQ+ Health addresses the important educational gap between expected faculty teaching competency and a lack of previous training.

The course includes 8 interactive modules:

  • Introduction and Pretest
  • LGBTQ+ Vocabulary
  • Social and Behavorial Determinants of Queer Health
  • Recommended Teaching Strategies
  • 3 Clinical Case Examples
  • Conclusion and Posttest

Our Request

Teaching LGBTQ+ Health is an introductory course that assumes no prior knowledge of LGBTQ+ health content. It is deliberately designed for educators across the health professions, like you, to improve your ability and confidence to teach this content to your trainees. You will learn evidence-based, LGBTQ+ health content and suggested strategies to incorporate this material in your daily teaching.

Everyone reading this post understands the power of digital media for knowledge translation. Our author team could have written a journal article summarizing LGBTQ+ health content at a fraction of financial and opportunity costs… and very few clinician educators would have found, read, or shared the manuscript.

Instead, we intentionally chose to create a faculty development course using an interactive, digital platform in a continuing education model. We believe this medium is enjoyable and highly effective for learners.

Here’s where you come in.

We request your time to learn more about this important topic. Please click here to access the course. If you learn something, help our grassroots dissemination strategy by sharing the course within your department and to a few peers outside your institution.

Call to Action

There is a clear mandate for health professions educators to teach LGBTQ+ health content. Consider how you might introduce LGBTQ+ health to trainees at your school.

Need some ideas? Well, we have the faculty development course for you….


About the Authors:

The authors have no financial disclosures to report. They receive no remuneration based on student participation in this open access course.

Michael A. Gisondi, MD (he/him/his) is Vice Chair of Education in the Department of Emergency Medicine at Stanford University. Twitter: @MikeGisondi

Deila Bumgardner (she/her/hers) is an instructional designer at Stanford Medicine EdTech. Twitter: @stanfordedtech

Timothy Keyes (he/him/they/them) is a MD/PhD student at Stanford School of Medicine and an aspiring clinical informatician, data scientist, and organizational diversity and inclusion strategist. Twitter: @timothykeyes

Shana Zucker (she/her/hers) is a MD/MPH/MS student at Tulane University School of Medicine and author of “Queericulum.”  Twitter: @ShanaInMedicine

Photo Credit: Stanford EdTech

The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. For more details on our site disclaimers, please see our ‘About’ page