Beyond Men, Women, or Both: A Comprehensive, LGBTQ-Inclusive, Implicit-Bias-Aware, Standardized-Patient-Based Sexual History Taking Curriculum. Academic Article uri icon


  • This standardized-patient-based module prepares medical students to take inclusive, comprehensive sexual histories from patients of all sexual orientations and gender identities. Health disparities faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) people are at least partially the result of inadequate access to health care and insufficient provider training. This module incorporates implicit bias activities to emphasize the important role providers can play in mitigating these disparities through compassionate, competent care. Furthermore, two of the three included cases highlight the negative impact sexual dysfunction can have on emotional well-being.Over 3 hours, students participate in a 30-minute large-group lecture and three 40-minute small-group standardized patient encounters with debrief. Prework consists of a short video on sexual history taking, assigned readings, and an implicit bias activity. These materials are included in this resource, along with lecture slides, facilitator guide, and standardized patient cases. Though the cases are adaptable to all levels of medical education, this module is designed for second-year and early third-year medical students.Qualitative student evaluations were positive, and postparticipation surveys revealed statistically significant improvement in comfort with their ability to take a sexual history in general, and take one from patients with a differing sexual orientation. Deployed in the second year of our Doctoring curriculum, this module continues to receive positive evaluations.Introducing these skills begins to address the curricular deficiencies seen across medical education and lays the foundation for a more competent health care workforce to address the needs of LGBTQ patients.

publication date

  • September 2017