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Welcoming LGBTQ Patients and Clients

presented by Liz Margolies, LCSW

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Disclosure Statement:

Financial: Liz Margolies receives compensation from MedBridge for the production of this course. She has no other relevant financial relationships.

Nonfinancial: Liz Margolies is the founder and former executive director of the National LGBT Cancer Network. She has no other competing nonfinancial interests or relationships with regard to the content presented in this course.

Satisfactory completion requirements: All disciplines must complete learning assessments to be awarded credit, no minimum score required unless otherwise specified within the course.

MedBridge is committed to accessibility for all of our subscribers. If you are in need of a disability-related accommodation, please contact [email protected]. We will process requests for reasonable accommodation and will provide reasonable accommodations where appropriate, in a prompt and efficient manner.

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Video Runtime: 41 Minutes; Learning Assessment Time: 33 Minutes

Across disciplines, health and human service providers have reported a lack of knowledge about LGBTQ language, culture, and health disparities. This contributes to a distrust of the healthcare system, resulting in delayed care with worse health outcomes. When patients and clients feel safe bringing their authentic selves into the treatment room, it leads to better patient-provider communication, greater adherence to recommended follow-up, and, ultimately, improved health. This is the second course of a two-part series addressing this gap in knowledge. This course focuses on both individual and system-wide changes that serve to create a more welcoming environment for LGBTQ people in all treatment settings. Specific skills and recommended policy changes will be addressed. The information in this course will be useful for physical therapists, social workers, nurses, occupational therapists, and others.

Meet Your Instructor

Liz Margolies, LCSW

Liz Margolies, LCSW, founder of the National LGBT Cancer Network, has served the LGBTQ community for more than 40 years as a psychotherapist, political activist, and volunteer. Until July 2020, she was also the executive director of the Network, the first and only national program exclusively addressing the needs of LGBT people with cancer and…

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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1. The LGBTQ Experience in Healthcare

This chapter covers the wariness that LGBTQ people experience when engaging with the healthcare system, based on previous negative experiences and fear of discrimination. Understanding the roots of this suspicion and caution can help providers know how to reassure and welcome LGBTQ people into their care.

2. The Impact of Negative Experiences

LGBTQ people report greater dissatisfaction with healthcare and their providers due to previous negative experiences and lack of provider knowledge about this population. This leads to worse health outcomes as measured by patient-centered care models and patient-reported outcomes. Cancer care will be used as an example for this chapter, using quotes from actual LGBTQ survivors.

3. Creating a Welcoming Healthcare Environment

In order to transform the LGBTQ health experience, change must occur on both the personal level and the system level. This chapter will focus on both arenas, offering substantive recommendations for improvement.

4. Consequences, Engagement, and Change

This final chapter will address specific changes that will make the healthcare system more welcoming and safe, including the importance of bathroom safety for transgender and gender nonconforming people. It will also cover other specific recommendations for engaging the LGBTQ community and policy changes that will impact LGBTQ people.

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