This petition was created by not-for-profit organization Sex[M]ed, Miranda Schreiber BA, Tehmina Ahmad MD, Michael Scott MD, Kevin Imrie MD MBA, and Saleem Razack MD.
We, the undersigned, call upon the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, and the College of Family Physicians of Canada to create competency-based and license-related standards for 2SLGBTQIA+ medical education.
WHY DOES IT MATTER?
The 2019 House of Commons Report on the health of 2SLGBTQIA+ communities found that 2SLGBTQIA+ people in Canada experience worse health outcomes than their cisgender, heterosexual counterparts. Systemic homophobia and transphobia in our communities, institutions, and in the medical system itself causes and sustains the 2SLGBTQIA+ health gap.
- Members of 2SLGBTQIA+ communities are less likely to have a family doctor, and more likely to live with chronic health conditions, poor mental health, and substance-dependence disorders
- 2SLGBTQIA+ communities experience barriers when accessing healthcare, reporting that clinicians are uninformed about their specific health needs, unaware of challenges related to homophobia and transphobia, and at times perpetuate medical trauma
- Physicians report feeling underprepared when treating 2SLGBTQIA+ patients, and medical students report a queerphobic and transphobic atmosphere in medical schools
WHAT IS CURRENTLY HAPPENING?
2SLGBTQIA+ medical education across Canada is inconsistent and limited.
A 2010 survey of North American medical schools found that the average time spent on 2SLGBTQIA+ medical education across four years was 5 hours. A 2019 multicentre online evaluation found that all levels of residents were insufficiently prepared in terminology, knowledge of preventative care, mental health care, and sexual health when it came to 2SLGBTQIA+ patients. Medical schools often misinform students through the overrepresentation of queer patients in case studies relating to STIs, while neglecting to educate students about the unique core health needs of this community.
Currently, there are no assessment objectives specifically relating to the health of 2SLGBTQIA+ patients set by the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, and the College of Family Physicians of Canada.
WHAT NEEDS TO CHANGE?
Competency-based and license-related standards for 2SLGBTQIA+ medical education need to be implemented across Canadian medical schools. There needs to be formalized standards and objectives stating what medical students need to know about 2SLGBTQIA+ health to hold undergraduate and postgraduate medical schools accountable. A creation of a national standard mandating inclusion of 2SLGBTQIA+ curricula will better support the health care needs for 2SLGBTQIA+ communities living in Canada. It is imperative that this Canadian standard for 2SLGBTQIA+ medical education be developed with 2SLGBTQIA+ communities, organizations, supports, and services at every step of the process.
HOW TO GET INVOLVED
Step 1: Sign this petition here!
Step 2: Share this petition on social media and tag the following medical associations on twitter:
- @AFMC_e (Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada)
- @Royal_College (Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada)
- @FamPhysCan (College of Family Physicians of Canada)
Step 3: Email and call medical associations to demand change using this optional template.
To learn more: read the case for Canadian standard for 2SLGBTQIA+ medical education