In current literature, healthcare providers' attitudes, the healthcare system, and biased health curriculums are some of the main bridges between creating inclusive, gender-affirming healthcare for sexual and gender-diverse (SGD) people. For SGD people, many unnecessary barriers exist that prevent them from accessing health care and receiving quality affirming care. The burden of overcoming these barriers must not be mostly placed on SGD people, but rather on current and future healthcare providers. Education on SGD issues for undergraduate pre-health students is a first step toward shifting biased education and improving inclusive affirming patient care. In our previous research, we found that pre-health students express uncertainty and ambivalence on some issues related to sexual and gender diversity. Similarly, in other studies, medical and nursing students have expressed not having enough education and skills on LGBT and sexual health. Most health profession curriculums provide few hours of low-quality SGD health. Failure to understand and empathize with sex and gender differences and the interconnections of SGD identities and health have left the SGD community at risk for life-threatening and chronic health conditions. In response to the concerns and uncertainties about quality SGD education, I plan to cultivate a digital infographic booklet that can be readily accessible for pre-health students at the University of Utah that focus on gender, sex, and sexual orientation. Initially, the resource will help define gender and sexual identities. Pre-health students will also learn about health disparities, social determinants of health, minority stress, and social safety in order to understand SGD people's sensitivity to healthcare and accessibility. Additionally, many pre-health pathways recommend patient exposure, so the source will also guide students on how to make social safety a tool for making SGD people more comfortable and safer to express their identities.
University / Institution: University of Utah
Format: In Person
SESSION D (3:30-5:00PM)
Area of Research: Health & Medicine
Faculty Mentor: Claudia Geist