Prescription for Change

It has often been stated that gay people feel that they can’t be completely honest about their sexuality to medical professionals, for fear of their reaction, or that it’s all to easy for the medics to assume that their patients are heterosexual and hence many issues encompassing their mental and physical well-being are diagnosed without knowing the complete picture.

The complete opposite of this is that there are many medical students, doctors, GP’s and Consultants who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender but in the conservative career that they are in many find it difficult being out to patients. Like in many careers there are very few medical professionals open about their sexuality which can mean the opportunity is missed for a gay patient to be completely open about their sexuality to their Doctor and thus more likely to get a fully informed diagnosis!

It’s not all doom and gloom though. An organization called Gay Doctors Ireland (www.gaydoctorsireland.ie) has been up and running for a few years now trying to change those conservative views from within and to make medicine and the medical profession more inclusive. To that end they are working on what probably is the worlds first survey on patients attitudes towards LGBT doctors as well as offering a research bursary for medical students who want to conduct research in the area of LGBT health. Wonderful to see a progressive group going from strength to strength.

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One Response to “Prescription for Change”

  1. Fidelma Carolan says:

    The Health & Social Care LGBT Staff forum is currently developing case studies for inclusion in degree programmes for social work, nursing and midwifery. The E-Learning module on LGBT issues is currently at pilot stage and will be rolled out to all health and social care staff in Northern Ireland within the next 12 months. Part of the rationale is to change workplace culture and support health professionals to be out as well as better serving LGBT people as service users.

    Any person who works in a Health & Social Care Trust or regional health organisation in Northern Ireland, you can go onto the confidential mailing list by sending your email to Leanne McMullan in the Public Health Agency Leanne.McMullan@hscni.net

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