Teaching Medical Students How to Ask Patients Questions About Identity, Intersectionality, and Resilience

Laura Potter, Sherri-Ann Burnett-Bowie, Jennifer Potter
2016 MedEdPORTAL  
Medical education addressing people with sexual and gender minority (SGM) identities often focuses on sexual risk, is delivered in silos, and overlooks intersecting identities. SGM individualsparticularly those with coexisting stigmatized identities-experience a disproportionate burden of discrimination, which increases vulnerability to adverse health outcomes, especially when maladaptive coping behaviors are used to manage stress. Adaptive coping and resilience can develop in the context of
more » ... n the context of identity affirmation and social support, for which sensitive clinician-patient interactions provide a crucial foundation. Guided by the AAMC publication Implementing Curricular and Institutional Climate Changes to Improve Health Care for Individuals Who Are LGBT, Gender Nonconforming, or Born With DSD: A Resource for Medical Educators, this session introduced first-year medical and dental students to the concepts of identity and intersectionality, providing an opportunity to practice apropos interviewing techniques. Methods: This 2-hour session includes prework, a didactic presentation, role-play scenarios, and a small-group session. Prior to the session, faculty facilitators had small-group leadership experience, and students had already mastered social history taking. Electronic student and faculty surveys provided qualitative assessment. Results: Faculty and students reported that the session increased awareness of the health impact of identity and intersectionality and the clinician's role in establishing rapport. Suggestions included adding a prework video defining diversity terminology and a patient panel describing diverse identities and experiences. Discussion: Addressing health issues related to SGM and other sociocultural identities is challenging yet crucial. This innovative session gave students an opportunity to explore their unconscious biases and practice novel interviewing techniques in a supportive environment. Educational Objectives After completing this 2-hour session, students will be able to: 1. Define identity, stigmatized identity, intersectionality, and resilience. 2. Describe the impact of various identifications (i.e., age, gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, ability/disability, national origin, language, education, occupation, income, religion) on patients' lived experiences, the development of adaptive and maladaptive coping behaviors, and eventual health outcomes. 3. Explain the importance of creating a trusting relationship in which patients can safely disclose their identities and lived experiences. 4. More confidently query patients about sexual and gender minority and other sociocultural identities, associated life experiences, and strategies used to cope with adversity. Original Publication  OPEN ACCESS Citation: Potter LA, Burnett-Bowie SM, Potter J. Teaching medical students how to ask patients questions about identity, intersectionality, and resilience. MedEdPORTAL.
doi:10.15766/mep_2374-8265.10422 fatcat:nxmz2w76szgwvoha4ujzhvsipy