Bridging the Gap Between Medical and Nursing Education and the LGBTQ+ Community: Efforts to Improve Healthcare Delivery through Dialogue, Education and Understanding


As part of the UCI Confronting Extremism Initiative, faculty projects were funded through the Provost Initiative on Understanding and Engaging with Extremism.

Professor Ellena Peterson and Associate Vice Chancellor Terrance Mayes joined together to study efforts to improve healthcare delivery through dialogue, education, and understanding. Hear from the project leads on why this project is important to them:

Bridging the Gap between Medical and Nursing Education and the LGBT+ Community: Efforts to Improve Healthcare Delivery through Dialogue, Education and Understanding

Project Lead: Ellena Peterson and Terrance Mayes
School of Medicine

Summary: The relationship between the medical and LGBT+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual, other gender or sexual identity) communities has only recently begun to recover from a history defined by fear and stigmatization. In a 2015 national study of almost 30,000 transgender individuals nationwide, 33% reported experiences of discrimination by healthcare teams, ranging from denial of services to outright physical and verbal abuse. Other gender and sexual minorities are known to face similar barriers, and consequently face poorer health outcomes as compared to the broader U.S. population. The overarching goal of this proposal is to address these issues within the Schools of Medicine and Nursing at UCI by attempting to close the knowledge and clinical skills gap related to the LGBT+ community that presently exists in medical education.
The four specific aims of this project are:

1. to longitudinally expand the curriculum of the medical and nursing schools’ foci on LGBT+ health throughout all years of training;
2. to enhance collaboration with LGBT+ local community members and health advocates;
3. to implement quantitative assessments to measure changes and progress in medical and nursing student clinical competence in caring for LGBT+ individuals; and
4. to broaden dissemination and visibility of the educational activities through multimedia documentation. Using this approach, we aim to better educate the next generation of health care providers in order to impart a broader, culturally competent tool set to more effectively administer health care to the LGBT+ population.


Check the Confronting Extremism site in late fall 2019 for a project update!