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UT medical students to poll LGBTs on health needs
QSanAntonio, June 24, 2014

Students from the University of Texas Health Science Center School of Medicine will have a booth at the Pride San Antonio Festival on July 5 where they will survey participants to assess the healthcare needs of the LGBT community.

The survey is conceived by a new group called UTHSCA Pride which is comprised of LGBT health professions students and allies who are interested in creating a clinic that would offer services to the local LGBT community.

Participants who answer the anonymous survey will be asked to respond to several questions including whether they feel they are getting the healthcare needs met, what type of issues they face when they go to a doctor and whether they would seek healthcare from an LGBT-identified clinic.

The survey will be available in both paper and online forms. UTHSCA Pride also will be working with local LGBT organizations to either post a survey link on their web sites or ask them to pass out hard copies of the survey.

Click here to take the survey.

UTHSCA Pride is organized as a gay-straight alliance by a group of medical students who are interested providing a supportive atmosphere for LGBT students.

Co-chairs for the group are Chris Lam MSII and Gilberto Vasquez, MSII. Aside from the co-chairs, the executive board is comprised of medical, nursing, physician assistant and dental students.

Dr. Robert Esterl, Professor of Surgery and Associate Dean for Undergraduate Medical Education, School of Medicine and Dr. Peter Andrew Guarnero, Assistant Professor in the Department of Family and Community Health Systems, School of Nursing are the faculty co-advisors for the group.

Each semester, UTHSCSA Pride sponsors Safe Space training and Trans Panels. The Safe Space sessions provide sensitivity training for faculty, staff and students on health care issues faced by LGBT patients. Through the use of clinical case scenarios, the presenters seek to teach healthcare providers culturally competent skills for interviewing and caring for the LGBT patients.

The Trans Panel consists of transgender patients at various stages of transition. The goal is to sensitize healthcare professions students, staff and faculty to the experiences of transgender persons as they seek healthcare.

Last April, UTHSCSA Pride sponsored OUT for Health Texas LGBT Medical Student Summit that brought together medical students from across the state. An important outcome of the summit was the creation of the Texas Association for GLBTQ Health.

The new organization supports current and future clinicians in providing LGBT patients with equitable care. Ultimately, the group's efforts will aim to create an interdisciplinary organization that provides a forum for the exchange of information and mentoring in the care of the LGBT patients.

Dr. Guarnero told QSanAntonio that he would like to speak with community members to discuss possible research topics of interest to the LGBT community. He can be reached by email at: Guarnero@uthscsa.edu.