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The continuance of the historically strained relationship between LGBT populations and systems of care is evidenced by several recent studies and surveys that provide testimony connecting experiences of homo/transphobic and culturally incompetent healthcare to a reluctance or refusal to enter future care, indicative of a significant healthcare disparity for these populations. Few, if any studies have examined the experiences and perceptions of younger LGBT populations, specifically the “Millennial” generation, whose identities, because of generationally distinct social upbringings, might come to bear uniquely in healthcare settings. Understanding this cohort’s relationship with the healthcare system will enable practitioners to more competently interact with their future LGBT patients, regardless of generation.

The primary method employed in our collection of this data was a focus group—of eight participants in size—that specifically utilized a “participant-observer” framework. This approach took advantage of the fact that subjects in studies are more comfortable relating their “real” and “true” feelings about issues in a social setting which is familiar to them; because of the personal nature of the research subject (experiences and feelings related to bodily, sexual and mental health) it was critical to create an environment which fostered comfort and open disclosure. By enlisting participants who were already familiar with and have an established level of rapport with the facilitator and (through snowball recruitment) at least one other participant, a setting was established in which conversation flowed freely and opinions and experiences could be related with less inhibition than would be expected in the presence of complete strangers.


Presented at the 2015 BNGAP LGBT Health Workforce Conference at Hunter College in New York City.

MedEdPORTAL publication ID 3969. Link to original.

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