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LGBTQI+ healthcare in Singapore: perspectives of non-governmental organisations and clinical year medical students

This mixed method study, published in Medical Education online, investigates stigma in healthcare for LGBTQI+ patients in Singapore and its possible upstream factors within medical education.

This mixed-methods study investigates stigma in healthcare for LGBTQI+ patients in Singapore. The Health Stigma and Discrimination Framework was referenced to devise in-depth interviews with representatives from 13 LGBTQI-affirming non-governmental organisations, analysed through thematic analysis. 320 clinical medical students were surveyed about attitudes, knowledge, comfort, preparedness, and perceived importance of/towards LGBTQI+ health, analysed via descriptive statistics and multivariate regression.

Findings suggest that the prevailing stigma in Singaporean society against LGBTQI+ individuals is exacerbated in healthcare settings. Doctors were cited as unfamiliar or uncomfortable with LGBTQI+ health, possibly from lack of training. Medical students in Singapore have scored sub-optimally in their knowledge and preparedness towards LGBTQI+ health, while interpersonal and structural stigma in healthcare towards LGBTQI+ people in Singapore negatively affects health and wellbeing.

These findings are an impetus to improve medical training in this area. High scores among medical students in attitudes, comfort, and perceived importance of LGBTQI+ topics demonstrate that there is space for LGBTQI+ health in the local medical education curriculum. Curricular interventions can prioritise content knowledge, communication skills, and sensitivity.This study is co-authored by RFI (Joanne Yoong), Yong Yoo Lin School of Medicine (Francine YC Wang, Xiang Lin Foon, Jared CK Ng, Chen Seong Wong, Francine YC Wang, Clara YR Tan, Yi Ting Cheah), Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine (Konstadina Griva), and the University of North Carolina Project-China (Rayner KJ Tan).

Read the full study at

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