Attitudes hinder gay and lesbian medical trainees

February 07, 2000

Gay and lesbian medical students and residents often feel they must balance the risk of disclosing their sexual orientation against enduring homophobic attitudes or even damaging their career.

Cathy Risdon and colleagues' qualitative study of the experiences of 29 gay or lesbian physicians training in 4 Canadian cities paints a picture of trainees struggling between being honest and true to themselves and risking negative - and even hostile- reactions from peers. Those coping with their first awareness of themselves were found to be especially vulnerable.

Risdon and colleagues recommend more proactive training programs acknowledging and supporting diversity, and more use of professional and peer role models as methods to improve the situation.
-end-
Gay and lesbian physicians in training by C. Risdon, D. Cook, D. Willms

Canadian Medical Association Journal

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