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Content Background

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Video Length: 59 minutes

Presentation Materials: Slide Deck 

An individual’s preferred terminology should be elicited and treated respectfully, even if it differs from or conflicts with the terminology with which we are familiar.

Because the acronym “LGBT”—an umbrella term encompassing people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender—mixes up populations whose self-identities are based on sexual orientation (LGB) and individual gender histories (T), we have tried within this publication to be careful not to simply use “LGBT” when we are, in fact, not talking about all of those populations.

Therefore, within this publication, we refer to LGBT people as a kind of shorthand while encouraging medical professionals to elicit from all patients critical information about identity and life history. (We refer readers unfamiliar with terms like “questioning” and “genderqueer” to Appendix A: Glossary of Terms.)

Learning Objectives:
After viewing this video, the learner will be able to:

  • Describe terminology  that may be used by LGBT patient communities.
  • Identify strategies for creating a welcoming space for LGBT patients, colleagues and co-workers.

Lavjay Butani, MD
Chief Pediatric Nephrology Professor, Department of Pediatrics
University of California, Davis, School of Medicine

Sana Loue, JD, PhD, MPH, MSSA, MA, LISW, CST, AV
Vice Dean, Faculty Development and Diversity
Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine

Suggested Citation:
Association of American Medical Colleges. "Understanding the Alphabet: LGBT 101" (November, 2016). AAMC Videos and Resources. Washington, DC: Association of American Medical Colleges. Available online at:

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