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    “New simulated patient program gives medical students opportunity to train with sexual and gender minority patients,” by Janell Agcaoili 

    University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine 
    Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Initiatives 

    Our story spotlights the groundbreaking SGM (Sexual and Gender Minority) Simulated Patient Program at the University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM). Initiated by forward-thinking medical students, this program addresses the need for diversity and inclusivity-focused training in medical education. It offers students a unique opportunity to interact with SGM patients and foster empathy and understanding, with the ultimate goal of improving care for this growing population. 
    What was the most impactful part of your entry? 
    From Janell Agcaoili: The most impactful part of this story is how the class of 2024 wanted to extend their simulated patient program to members of the LGBTQ+ community and to patients who identify as gender minorities. It was impactful because, although we have a pretty sizable population of LGBTQ+ people living in Hawaii, I don’t think there is a lot of knowledge and understanding of how best to care for these people medically. That is the reason why the class of 2024 took on the challenge of starting up this program, and they hope to see it continue with other classes. 
    What is one thing you learned from your entry/experience? 
    From Janell Agcaoili: I learned that training future physicians on how to talk to, treat, and care for SGM patients is needed and helps these patients feel more comfortable going into a doctor’s appointment. Oftentimes for patients, fear and apprehension of seeing a doctor include worrying about one’s health and the cost of the visit and treatments thereafter; for SGM patients, however, the fear extends beyond that: Will they be mistreated, abused, or judged by their physician? Are they putting themselves in danger by identifying themselves as they are? Will they be treated inaccurately, because their physician doesn’t understand their unique situation? From this experience, I learned that while our school may be small, there are future physicians at JABSOM who care about treating patients according to who they are and how they identify, so they want to learn how to interact with them. 
    Contact: Deborah Dimaya