The program is one of few in the United States, according to Brian Buford, director of the university’s LGBT Center and assistant provost for diversity.

“This is a groundbreaking moment,” he told the students gathered April 24, 2014, at the Dental School to receive their certificates. Also in attendance were Dr. Toni Ganzel, dean of the UofL School of Medicine, and David Wiegman, PhD, associate vice president for health affairs, vice dean for academic affairs and physiology professor.

The program, sponsored by the university’s LGBT Center, consisted of seven monthly lunchtime workshops. More than 250 students participated in at least one session; completion of four was required to earn the LGBT Health and Wellness Competency Certificate, said Stacie Steinbock, Health Sciences Campus coordinator for the LGBT center.

“This really represents a sea change,” Steinbock said, adding the program is part of a growing movement that is calling for health practitioners to provide care that is respectful of all patients.

Weigman told the students he was “delighted that the medical center is moving forward in this important area.” He encouraged the students to continue learning “so we don’t have as many of the incidents that just make our hearts hurt.”

One first-year medical student who received a certificate was Mellad Khoshnood. The southern California native said all medical practitioners would benefit if the lessons from the workshops were worked into the regular medical education curriculum at UofL. “You can’t choose not to see a patient,” Khoshnood said.

The workshops included topics such as “Bedside Manner: Working with LGBT Clients and Patients,” “Health Promotion and Disease Prevention,” and “Understanding the T in LGBT.” The center plans to continue the training next year.

For more photos, visit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/uofl/sets/72157644297594231/.

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Janet Cappiello covers the College of Business, the J.B. Speed School of Engineering, the College of Education and Human Development, the School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies, Sustainability Council and military initiatives for the Office of Communications and Marketing. She has more than 30 years’ experience in journalism, including working for The Associated Press and magazines such as Vegetarian Times and Sustainability: The Journal of Record. She has been at UofL since March 2014.