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January 1, 1988

Lesbians Call for Greater Physician Awareness, Sensitivity to Improve Patient Care

JAMA. 1988;259(1):18. doi:10.1001/jama.1988.03720010008003

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"I GOT THIS survey in the mail, of women professionals. One of the questions was, 'What kind of birth control do you use?' I wrote in, 'Lesbian sex is the best method of birth control there is.' I just wish I could've been there to see the reaction...."

So recounted a lesbian attorney attending a meeting of the Women's Issues Committee of the American Association of Physicians for Human Rights (an organization founded by gay and lesbian physicians; the homosexual community often uses the terms gay and lesbian to distinguish male and female homosexuals). The message was one repeated throughout the four-day meeting in Minneapolis; it had to do with attitudes and assumptions, how they affect the physician-patient relationship, and, ultimately, how they influence the medical care provided to what some have called the "invisible minority."

Lois (at their request, all those quoted are identified with pseudonyms), a Louisiana otorhinolaryngologist,