Within the United States, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) individuals statistically face a higher health disparity rate than heterosexuals. Studies show that LGBTQ individuals are often hesitant to seek care, or do not return for follow up care because they experience unwelcoming environments or uncomfortable encounters with healthcare providers. The advancement of medical education in order to create more culturally competent healthcare providers, as well as a more welcoming healthcare environment, could begin the process of closing this health disparities gap. Not only do negative encounters affect the physical health of LGBTQ individuals, but there is also adverse influence on their mental health. When healthcare facilities are unable to represent a place of positive community and welcomeness, they are not truly doing their job for the people they are supposed to be serving. There is a long history of discrimination toward LGBTQ people in the United states, but despite this history, there have been few national efforts to study the personal effects of this discrimination. The purpose of this thesis is to share LGBTQ experiences within the healthcare system, the amount of medical education that is focused on LGBTQ health as well as what it looks like, and how increased cultural competence in healthcare environments can create safer spaces and move towards closing the health disparities gap.
Semester/Year of Award
Theresa M. Botts
Mentor Department Affiliation
Open Access Thesis
Health Promotion and Administration
IRB Approval Number (if applicable)
Dennis, Clarissa E., "The LGBTQ Health Disparities Gap: Access to Healthcare for LGBTQ Individuals in the United States and the Impact it Has on Their Health" (2021). Honors Theses. 803.