Medical educator available to discuss LGBT health equity in conjunction with gay marriage ruling


    LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The Supreme Court#8217;s decision on gay marriage delivered today has implications for LGBT individuals that go beyond the right to marry. Perhaps even more important to an individual’s long-term wellbeing is the expectation of fair and equitable treatment in obtaining health care.

    The University of Louisville School of Medicine is taking the lead in teaching future physicians about unique health concerns and issues encountered by individuals who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT), gender nonconforming or born with differences of sex development (DSD).

    While the marriage question directly relates to the rights of same-sex spouses to be designated as next-of-kin, research shows that people who are LGBT or DSD-affected experience other challenges when seeking care in doctors’ offices, clinics, hospitals and emergency rooms. These challenges can result in decreased access to care or willingness to seek care, and increased medical morbidity and mortality for these patients.

    The University of Louisville School of Medicine will serve as the nation’s pilot site for training future physicians by incorporating 30 core competencies identified by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) into the curriculum to ensure physicians are equipped to competently care for LGBT and DSD-affected patients.

    Amy Holthouser, M.D., associate dean for medical education at UofL, is working with a team of educators and consulting with community leaders to modify more than 40 hours of curriculum to be more inclusive and affirming of LGBT and DSD patients. This academic year, all students in the first and second year of medical school at UofL will be studying the revised curriculum. Beginning with the 2016-2017 academic year, students in all four years of medical school at UofL (600+) will be included in the revised curriculum.

    >p>“The objective is to reinforce the core stance that a competent physician is skilled in the care of all patients within their community and can approach each patient with sensitivity, compassion and the knowledge necessary to promote health and wellness,“ Holthouser said.

    For more information on the pilot program, see New LGBT training incorporated into medical school curriculum.

    To schedule an interview with Amy Holthouser, contact Betty Coffman at 502-852-4573 or

    Betty Coffman
    Betty Coffman is a Communications Coordinator focused on research and innovation at UofL. A UofL alumna and Louisville native, she served as a writer and editor for local and national publications and as an account services coordinator and copywriter for marketing and design firms prior to joining UofL’s Office of Communications and Marketing.