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Discrimination and structural bias against sexual and gender minority medical trainees: a qualitative analysis

Chernoff, Eva (2018) Discrimination and structural bias against sexual and gender minority medical trainees: a qualitative analysis. Master Essay, University of Pittsburgh.

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Background: Sexual and gender minority (SGM) medical trainees may train and work in environments that are discriminatory towards both SGM patients as well as medical practitioners. Although some studies have been completed regarding SGM medical trainee discrimination, there remains a lack of current and relevant research on the subject of mistreatment of SGM medical trainees. Qualitative research informs the social and cultural context from which students experience discrimination, how they feel they should address it, and issues surrounding reporting. The main research question for this project is: What is the experience of medical training for medical trainees who identify as SGM? This question hopes to contribute to the public health knowledge of structural bias among underrepresented SGM medical trainees and the long-term effects that bias can potentially cause.
Methodology: Qualitative interviews were conducted with 6 medical students at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine who identify as SGM. Interviews were analyzed qualitatively using Nvivo software to identify and determine common themes among responses. The final themes identified will establish the current professional issues that SGM medical trainees face in today’s medical training environment.
Results: Participants described the following themes: 1) The medical training environment can be heteronormative, gender restricted; 2)There is an inability to be one’s “true” self in a professional setting such that participants need to “fit the mold” of conventional medicine; 3) Discrimination consisted mostly of microaggressions and covert comments; 4) Participants noted that their identity caused a large burden of stress for their medical training, which had negative effects on their mental health, as well as their physical health; 5) The reporting system was described as intimidating due to lack of transparency regarding what will happen if a report is made. Many students also worried about their anonymity after reporting.
Conclusions: The medical environment for SGM medical students is still one that requires additional resources, services, and change to be a positive learning environment. Recommendations for change include restructuring of the reporting system and an open medical school space and professionalism code that is more inclusive of queer ideas, personalities, dress codes, and values.


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Item Type: Other Thesis, Dissertation, or Long Paper (Master Essay)
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Chernoff, Evaefc15@pitt.eduefc150000-0003-1678-0673
ContributionContributors NameEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairFinegold, Daviddnf@pitt.edudnfUNSPECIFIED
Committee MemberHawk, Marymeh96@pitt.edumeh96UNSPECIFIED
Committee MemberEgan, Jamesjee48@pitt.edujee48UNSPECIFIED
Date: 10 December 2018
Date Type: Submission
Number of Pages: 35
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Multidisciplinary MPH
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Master Essay
Refereed: Yes
Date Deposited: 28 Sep 2019 21:15
Last Modified: 01 Jan 2022 06:15


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