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Sexual and Gender Minorities Curriculum Within Obstetrical Anesthesia Fellowship Programs
Abstract Number: S3A-1
Abstract Type: Original Research
Background: Strong patient-provider relationships can significantly influence patient outcomes.1 Sexual and gender minorities (SGM) represent a wide variety of marginalized populations.2 A significant gap exists in provider knowledge pertaining to SGM communities and their healthcare needs. There are anesthetic considerations relevant for providing care to SGM patients, yet there is an absence of studies examining the inclusion of SGM-related health education within medical, and specifically anesthesia, training.
Objectives: The primary objective was to perform an environmental scan of the curricular content of Obstetrical Anesthesia fellowship programs in North America. Secondary objectives include describing program demographics in relation to the inclusion of SGM education in the curriculum, as well as perceived barriers to inclusion of SGM education.
Methods: In the absence of any previously validated surveys, we developed an online survey based on review of existing literature assessing the presence of SGM education within other healthcare provider curricula. We assessed validity using an iterative process with feedback from healthcare providers and SGM-identified people within our local research networks. The survey instrument was distributed electronically, using a modified Dillman distribution approach.3 It was sent to directors of Obstetrical Anesthesia fellowship programs throughout North America, as publicly listed by the Society for Obstetric Anesthesia and Perinatology (SOAP) website. Survey responses were summarized using descriptive statistics.
Results: A response rate of 60% (N=30) has been obtained, including 4 partially completed surveys. Most participants indicated that there were individuals who openly identified as SGM within their department (82%) and that fellows in their training programs have provided care for SGM patients (92%). Most respondents were unsure if there were formalized policies in place (46%) or SGM inclusive forms (50%) at their institutions. Fifty-four percent felt that their curriculum adequately prepares fellows to care for SGM patients, yet only 19% of participants stated that SGM education was a part of their curriculum and 31% would like to see more SGM education incorporated in the future. Perceived lack of need was most chosen as a barrier to curricular inclusion of SGM education (46%), followed by lack of available/interested faculty (19%) and time (19%).
Conclusions: Our results suggest that although curriculum leaders appreciate that SGM patients are encountered within the practice of Obstetrical Anesthesia, a significant knowledge gap still exists. Future steps should include perspectives of trainees and patients.
1. Annals of behavioral medicine, 2012;43(3):372-82.
2. The National Academies Press. 2011:1-366.
3. Internet, Phone, Mail, and Mixed-Mode Surveys: The Tailored Design Method. 4th ed: John Wiley; 2014.