The LGBT Checkbox on Medical Forms

I’m glad to see this discussion moving into more mainstream areas of dialogue and beyond the occasional shouting match on Tumblr.

Lavender Health - LGBTQ Resource Center

The Washington PosCheckmarkt recently published a piece on its advice column about the importance of including check boxes on medical forms to identify LGBT people. The advice column included quotes from Hector Vargas, executive director of GLMA, and Liz Margolies, founder and director of the National LGBT Cancer Network. Both strongly support including questions on medical forms to identify LGBT people.

Anyone versed in LGBT health know that chronic stigma has resulted in numerous health disparities. Research has shown numerous negative health outcomes among LGBT populations, such as mood and anxiety disorders, obesity, HIV/AIDS, and lower utilization of healthcare services. In fact, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) published a report in 2011 recommending the collection of sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) in medical records. Collecting SOGI information could assist in identifying and addressing LGBT health and healthcare disparities.

Since the release of the IOM report in…

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