LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The University of Louisville continues to lead in educating future physicians to provide the best possible health care for patients who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT), gender nonconforming and those born with differences in sex development (DSD). UofL’s eQuality Project, the initiative to embed training in the care of these patients throughout its medical school curriculum, has won the 2016-2017 Innovation in Medical Education Award from the Southern Group on Educational Affairs (SGEA).
The SGEA presents a single Innovation in Medical Education Award each year for a good, replicable idea for other medical education institutions to consider. Chosen over three other nominees, UofL’s eQuality Project won thanks to the timely topic and the unique but practical approach, according to Karen “Sam” Miller, Ph.D., director of graduate medical education and research at UofL and chair of SGEA, a regional subgroup of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).
In 2014, UofL became the pilot program for the development of curriculum to incorporate competencies published by the AAMC related to provision of care for LGBT and DSD individuals.
“Every patient deserves to be cared for with respect and competence,” said Toni Ganzel, M.D., M.B.A., dean of the UofL School of Medicine. “The faculty and staff members who have devoted so many hours in the eQuality Project have made it their mission to provide the best education for our future physicians in the care of LGBTQ patients. I am extremely proud of their work and pleased that the SGEA is recognizing it as a model for other institutions.”
Susan Sawning, M.S.S.W., director of undergraduate medical education research, and Laura Weingartner, Ph.D., research manager, were recognized for the award at the SGEA Business Meeting during the 2017 AAMC Learn, Serve, Lead conference in Boston earlier this month. The award will be presented formally at the SGEA Regional Conference in April 2018 in Jackson, Miss.
“This has been a beautiful team effort,” Sawning said. “I am most proud that our LGBTQ community is feeling empowered and better cared for, and that makes it all worth it.”
The project included Sawning, Weingartner and other members of the eQuality Steering Committee: Chaz Briscoe, M.A., Dwayne Compton, M.Ed., Amy Holthouser, M.D., Charles Kodner, M.D., Leslee Martin, M.A., David McIntosh, Ph.D., Emily Noonan, M.A., M. Ann Shaw, M.D., M.A., Stacie Steinbock, M.Ed., and Jennifer Stephens, B.A.
The AAMC is the not-for-profit association representing all 145 accredited United States and 17 accredited Canadian medical schools; nearly 400 major teaching hospitals and health systems, including 51 Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers; and nearly 90 academic and scientific societies. Through these institutions and organizations, the AAMC represents 148,000 faculty members, 83,000 medical students, and 110,000 resident physicians.