Every individual is entitled to quality health care, but medical professionals are not always equipped with the training and knowledge to provide the necessary care to patients -- especially when it comes to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) communities and individuals with differences of sex development (DSD). For this reason, the University of Louisville School of Medicine established eQuality (www.louisville.edu/medicine/equality/), an inclusive LGBTQ/DSD-affected health training program that was integrated across the medical student curriculum.
After the launch of this program, the university realized that its students needed more clinical skills training to translate classroom learning into patient care. The eQuality Toolkit addresses those gaps by training medical students to care for LGBTQ/DSD-affected communities. These patients experience repeated instances of stigma and discrimination related to their identities, with consequent health and healthcare disparities that knowledgeable healthcare providers can help to address.
The manual presents a practical and fundamental approach to LGBTQ/DSD health and clinical care, and it addresses several categories, including gender-affirming care, inclusive communication skills, and consideration for youth and family planning. The book, which has been used to train medical students in an educational setting, also functions independently as a clinical skills supplement for practicing providers. Most importantly, this resource emphasizes that providers who have open and thoughtful conversations with all patients will help ensure that quality and effective health care is provided.