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Women Health. 2003;37(4):89-103.

Outing lesbian health in medical education.

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  • 1Department of General Practice, University of Melbourne, Carlton, Victoria, Australia.


Lesbian health is emerging as a distinct discipline in practice and research. Evidence is increasingly available that lesbians are a unique and underserved population in the health care system. They display reduced health seeking behaviors and have specific risk factors which potentially affect their health and well being. They also have specific health issues in fields as diverse as fertility, sexual health and mental health, which require specific knowledge from health care practitioners. Above all, lesbian health care consumers repeatedly decry the lack of sensitivity and knowledge that they experience in their interactions with providers, and call for improved training. However, medical education generally ignores lesbian health at all levels. In this paper, the inclusion of lesbian health in medical education programs is reviewed, and recent political initiatives involving gay and lesbian health in Australia are discussed. The paper concludes with suggestions to integrate lesbian health in medical training.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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