Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Patient Care
Medicine has made significant but incomplete progress in understanding its lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) patients and colleagues. In 1986, homosexuality-based diagnoses were removed from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Today, the profession has a Gay and Lesbian Medical Association, supports repeal of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, and endorses equal hospital visitation and surrogate decision-making rights for LGBT partners. Still, as this month’s authors assert, physicians must develop greater comfort in discussing sexuality and greater competence in caring for members of LGBT communities.