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American College of Physicians publishes 'The Fenway Guide to LGBT Health'

PHILADELPHIA, September 17, 2007 - In October the American College of Physicians (ACP) will publish "The Fenway Guide to LGBT Health." Edited by Dr. Harvey Makadon, Dr. Ken Mayer, and Hilary Goldhammer of The Fenway Institute at Fenway Community Health, and Dr. Jennifer Potter of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, the textbook is designed to teach current and future medical providers about the unique health care needs of sexual and gender minorities.

"The American College of Physicians is pleased to present this outstanding text, which fulfills an important but currently unmet educational need for a broad range of health care providers," said Steven Weinberger, MD, FACP, Senior Vice President, Medical Education and Publishing at ACP.

LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) Americans, in addition to having the same basic health needs as the general population, also experience health disparities because of continuing discrimination and ignorance related to sexual orientation or gender identity. For example:

  • LGBT people as a whole are 40 to 70 percent more likely to smoke than non-LGBT people;

  • Gay and bisexual men continue to be at increased risk for HIV and other STD acquisition and transmission;

  • Many providers have little knowledge of transgender people and their specialized medical and mental health needs;

  • LGBT youth are often isolated and at higher risk for depression and attempted suicide;

  • Lesbians may be at greater risk than other women for certain kinds of cancer.

Despite these disparities, many medical providers are unaware of specific health issues impacting LGBT people or are unskilled in making their practices welcoming and inclusive of LGBT patients. "The Fenway Guide to LGBT Health" draws on Fenway Community Health's more than 35 years providing medical and mental health care to the LGBT community to address this common disconnect between doctor and patient.

"We as medical providers need to be as knowledgeable as possible about health issues impacting all of our patients, especially groups with unique health disparities, like LGBT people," said Dr. Makadon, Director of Training & Education at The Fenway Institute and associate professor at Harvard School of Medicine. "We also need to be comfortable talking to sexual and gender minorities in a non-judgmental way about behaviors and situations that result in these disparities so that they are comfortable being honest and open with us. Doctor-patient communication is an essential component of providing quality health care."

"The Fenway Guide to LGBT Health" contains chapters on subjects as diverse as adolescence and coming out; LGBT couples and families with children; health promotion and disease prevention; mental health and substance abuse; transgender health; and patient communication and creating a more welcoming office environment.


Contact: Steve Majewski
American College of Physicians

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