LGBTQ medical textbook aims to bridge gap

Published: Jan. 15, 2020 at 6:46 PM CST
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A new textbook hit the shelves and the goal is to fill a gap in the medical field.

It's a guide to help medical professionals give the LGBTQ community an equal quality of care.

The book is called "The Equal Curriculum: The student and educator guide to LGBTQ health." One of the senior authors said this book came from the heart.

"This is personal. I grew up in Wisconsin, which wasn’t hostile," James Lehman, UW-Madison psychiatrist and alum said.

But even still, Lehman said coming out when he was younger made his childhood tough.

"I definitely felt like it was everybody else's world, they just tolerated me living in it. I kept that with me even as I began to have more success and privilege," he said.

So he used his success and education to educate others.

"The content goes to the depth that a medical student may need to make complex medical students, but a lot of it is how do we look at the healthcare system that we live in and how do we make it friendlier to our patients," he said.

He explained he saw a shocking statistic in a Stanford study.

"The mean amount of time covering LGBTW health is 5 hours and often time it would be 0. That is in 4 years of medical school,” he said.

The textbook is designed for health professionals, students and instructors to address the unequal weight of medical education when it comes to the LGBTQ community.

"Even though people had been working toward these issues for a long time, there was no easily accessible students that would actually help students,” he said.

Kathy Oriel is a family doctor, and she has seen this issue first hand.

"When I was in training, I took care of a couple transgender women they said ‘hey I want to start hormones.’ I said I don't really know how to do that, but I can figure it out," Kathy Oriel, MD Family Physician said.

Oriel searches for medical answers in literature because they weren't available in her own curriculum. She said this textbook will help change that.

"Coming from a major university to have this kind of resource is really exciting. This is an authentic medical and population health issue that we need to be addressing the care of this community," she said.

"I guess I imagine a world where people don't have to keep everything so close to their vest and they can be honest with their physicians and be expected to be treated not only kindly, but competently," Lehman said.

The book is available now on Amazon and other retailers. Lehman said none of the authors will profit from this textbook. All proceeds will be donated to major LGBTQ organizations.

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