Thursday, November 10, 2011

Health Care Centers Leading the Way

by Joseph Zolobczuk

75% of medical schools surveyed in the United States and Canada rated themselves "fair," "poor," or "very poor" on the integration of gender and orientation content in undergraduate medical school training, according to a November 2011 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

Of 132 medical schools in the JAMA report, 33% devoted no clinical training hours to covering the particular health concerns of patients who identify as gay or transgender, as reported in a recent US News & Word Report article. The average time medical schools who integrate topics is about 5 hours of instruction, however the JAMA report found, "the quantity, content covered, and perceived quality of instruction varied substantially." This lack of awareness and education could be contributing to Lambda Legal's survey findings that 56% of respondents experienced discrimination based on gender and orientation in US health care.

Tori G. addressing the Physician Assistants at Miami-Dade College

In South Florida, two notable health centers who are taking steps to increase awareness and education include Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital (JDCH) Community Youth Services at Memorial, and Miami-Dade College (MDC) Physician Assistant Program. 

Community Youth Services (CYS) has distinguished itself as a quality provider of youth and family prevention, early intervention, and substance abuse outpatient services, serving thousands of Broward residents each year. In October, YES Institute provided training to 50 CYS social workers in a two-hour workshop and open floor dialogue with three guest speakers. Some of the participants shared:  
“I have learned that in order to prevent suicide and ensure healthy development there has to be proper communication. The YES dialogue was very informative and I was moved by the stories of people who really shared their experience.” –CYS participant 
“It helped me understand others' experiences and cultural perspectives. The information was useful because of the population I work with. There are a lot of misconceptions and today's training cleared many of these for me.” –CYS participant 
JDCH Department of Pediatric Endocrinology hosted a YES Institute presentation earlier this summer at Memorial Regional Hospital.

Joseph Zolobczuk(center) and Sky Guilbaud with social workers at Community Youth Services

MDC's Physician Assistant Program invites YES Institute to provide a 1½ hour presentations on orientation, gender transitioning, and medical management of intersex births for each new cohort of medical students for the past several years. Students from the Fall 2011 cohort remarked,
"This is very important information for life and my profession." –MDC PA student 
"Asking if a patient prefers to be called a name other than listed could have huge benefits in care/treatment." –MDC PA student
YES Institute courses are accredited for continuing education by the Florida Board of Nursing and Florida Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage & Family Therapy and Mental Health Counseling [BAP #50-1652] on gender and orientation topics. The January 2012 Winter Education Weekend is an ideal opportunity participate in all of the primary YES Institue communication and education courses, conducted Friday through Tuesday, January 13–17, 2012, at the YES Institute offices in Miami, Florida.

If you would like to schedule an introductory presentation or training workshop at your health center or facility, please call YES Institute at 305-663-7195 or 

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