Submission Type

Innovation Highlight


Introduction: Sexual and gender minority (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning; LGBTQ+) patients experience health care inequities. Simulation using standardized patients (SPs) is an effective tool for communication-based training. To promote equitable practice, we created an experiential learning opportunity for residents to practice inclusive communication and improve their comfort in caring for LGBTQ+ patients while maintaining the psychological safety of SPs.

Methods: Our interdisciplinary team explored relevant simulation curricula, conducted a focus group with LGBTQ+ SPs, created a didactic presentation, and designed and implemented a simulated case. Family medicine residents participated in the training and completed pre- and post-training surveys rating their confidence in sexual health communication and working with sexual and gender minority patients. We compared Likert scale ratings in pre- and post-training surveys using a Wilcoxon signed-rank test. SPs completed post-simulation surveys rating their psychological safety.

Results: Residents completed pre-training (n = 13) and post-training (n = 12) surveys. Confidence improved in every category, reaching significance for confidence in obtaining a sexual health history from LGBTQ+ patients. Four SPs completed post-simulation surveys. All SPs reported that the event had educational value and was a positive experience.

Discussion: This innovative simulation training with an equity focus improved learner confidence and maintained the psychological safety of SPs. We speculate that curricular design elements of interdisciplinary collaboration and co-creation with SPs with lived experience may have contributed to the success.

Conclusions: Through interdisciplinary collaboration and experiential learning, we created a valuable learning opportunity that allowed residents to improve their confidence in taking inclusive sexual health histories of LGBTQ+ patients.



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