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March 18, 2020

Residency Education on Sexual and Gender Minority Health: Ensuring Culturally Competent Dermatologists and Excellent Patient Care

Author Affiliations
  • 1Division of Dermatology, Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis, St Louis, Missouri
  • 2Department of Dermatology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
  • 3Department of Dermatology, Kaiser Permanente Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group, Rockville, Maryland
JAMA Dermatol. 2020;156(5):497-499. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2020.0112

Dermatologists play a significant and multifaceted role in caring for sexual and gender minority (SGM) patients, an expansive population that includes individuals who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, asexual, queer, transgender, and gender nonconforming and those with differences in sex development. Multiple social determinants, including stigma and discrimination in health care and a lack of knowledgeable clinicians, have created health inequities for SGM individuals, leading the National Institutes of Health in 2016 to designate SGM individuals as a health-disparity population.1,2 Sexual and gender minority patients also face dermatology-specific disparities, ranging from increased rates of skin cancer among sexual minority men to higher rates of human papillomavirus infection among sexual minority women.3 To provide excellent care for SGM individuals, dermatologists must be able to deliver culturally competent care to SGM individuals with routine dermatologic conditions and address their population-specific health needs. These health needs include, but are not limited to, the screening for and prevention of certain sexually transmitted infections among high-risk SGM individuals, the management of cutaneous effects of gender-affirming hormone therapy, and the use of minimally invasive, gender-affirming procedures.3,4 In this issue of JAMA Dermatology, Jia and colleagues5 address a key component of improving clinical care and mitigating health disparities for SGM individuals—dermatology graduate medical education.

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