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Improving the Health Care of LGBT People: Understanding and Eliminating Health Disparities

October 2012 | Kevin L Ard, MD, MPH, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Harvey J Makadon, MD, Director of the National LGBT Health Education Center, The Fenway Institute

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LGBT people face a common set of challenges in accessing culturally competent health services and achieving the highest possible level of health.

This document offers a brief overview of the major issues relevant to the health and health care of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. The authors discuss LGBT demographics, terminology, and concepts; they also review LGBT health disparities across the life span. Clinicians and health care organizations will learn steps they can take to improve access to patient-centered care for their LGBT patients, including collecting data on sexual orientation and gender identity, creating a welcoming environment and providing interventions that respond to LGBT disparities.




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