LGBTQ+ medical school applicants often wonder if they should disclose their sexuality in their application. The American Medical Student Association offered an online forum in 2013 which provided applicants with information and answered their questions about being out in the application process and in medical school. Quoting from the announcement about this event: “Getting into medical school is an intimidating process for nearly all premedical students, but it can be especially daunting for those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT). Should I mention it on my application? During my interview? If so, how should I bring it up? How will I know if a school is LGBT-friendly? Can I be out in med school? What is life like as an LGBT med student? What kind of opportunities might I find for an LGBT med student?”
Stanford conducted a study which showed that of the LGBTQ+ students surveyed, about two thirds opted to disclose their sexuality in the medical school application process but almost half feared discrimination. In my work advising applicants as a medical school admissions consultant, I have found that schools do not discriminate and, in fact, welcome LGBTQ+ students.
A recent study showed that LGBT medical students may suffer from burnout. What are schools doing to help mitigate this? An article published in AAMC News describes how various schools attempt to create a welcoming environment for LGBTQ+ students. Some medical schools make an effort to actively recruit and/or welcome LGBTQ+ students. Yale, Penn, Northwestern, Johns Hopkins, the University of Michigan, the University of Illinois, Washington University, and NYU are just a few among many which offer specific programs and interest groups. And the American Medical Student Association has a Gender and Sexuality Group focused on advocacy efforts. Stanford created LGBT-Meds, an organization which hosts events and lectures on LGBTQ+ topics. Some medical schools are also providing training for faculty and students to foster inclusion, such as the SafeSpace Program at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and the University of Chicago’s Pritzker School of Medicine hosted a forum on LGBTQ+ People in Medicine.
–Liza Thompson, Expert Medical School Admissions Consulting