Associations Between Non-discrimination and Training Policies and Physicians' Attitudes and Knowledge About Sexual and Gender Minority Patients

A Comparison of Physicians From Two Hospitals

Jennifer M. Jabson; Jason W. Mitchell; S. Benjamin Doty


BMC Public Health. 2016;16(256) 

In This Article


Background: Some physicians lack knowledge and awareness about health issues specific to sexual and gender minority (SGM) individuals. To help improve this, hospitals have implemented policies that mandate non-discrimination and training to promote sexual and gender minority health. There is limited evidence about how such policies relate to physicians' knowledge, attitudes, and gender and sexual minority affirmative practices.

Method: A random sample of 1000 physicians was recruited from a complete list of physicians affiliated with one of two university Hospitals located in Tennessee and 180 physicians completed the survey concerning attitudes and knowledge about SGM individuals. Physicians were affiliated with either Hospital A that had not implemented policies for non-discrimination and training, or Hospital B that did.

Results: Physicians held different attitudes about SGM patients than non-patients. Physicians affiliated with Hospital A held more negative attitudes about SGM individuals who were non-patients than physicians affiliated with Hospital B. There were no differences between the two hospitals in physicians' attitudes and knowledge about SGM patients.

Conclusion: Policies that mandate non-discrimination and training as they currently exist may not improve physicians' attitudes and knowledge about SGM individuals. Additional research is needed to understand how these policies and trainings relate to physicians' SGM affirmative practices.