MADISON (WKOW) — The LGBTQ+ youth community faces significant health care disparities, according to the CDC. But a new fellowship program at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health aims to change that.
The University of Wisconsin has been chosen among more than 50 other institutions to be the first site for the American Medical Association Foundation’s LGBTQ+ Scholars Program.
The school received $750,000 to start the program earlier this year, and now the program’s first two scholarship recipients say they are forever grateful.
“The LGBTQIA community faces a lot of stigma and discrimination in their lives,” Muhammad Daud said. “And then health care, because sometimes a system can be part of that.”
Daud and his colleague Margaretta Gergen applied to the program and were selected from dozens of applicants from across the country. In the program, the two young doctors will use research, teaching and community outreach to educate others on how best to meet the needs of LGBTQ patients.
“In my experience in medical school, we had maybe an hour-long lecture on LGBTQ+ caregiving,” Gergen said. “So I think a lot of people in the community don’t know that a lot of providers have very little experience in providing proper care.”
According to a study by the National Institute of Health (NIH), 68% of young LGBTQ+ people do not feel comfortable disclosing their sexual identity to their doctor. Both scholars say they hope this new program will change that.
“The hope is that I get this education, get this training and go to other institutes where they might not have the resources and the support and be able to advocate for the provision of this care in all different contexts,” Daud said.
The application for next year’s scholarship program is now open and can be viewed online.
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