CCSF 1-28-23

City College of San Francisco

LGBTQ+ Medical Case Scenarios: An Experiential Learning Perspective

The presentation consisted of reviewing LGBTQ+ medical case scenarios through the lens of City College of San Francisco medical interpreter students. Class was held over zoom. Each of the students read and studied three LGBTQ+ themed vignettes and associated discussion points before and during class. This allowed for a robust, highly interactive class discussion over zoom on how medical interpreters can collaborate with clinicians in providing more culturally competent care to the LGBTQ+ community.

The audience consisted of medical interpreter students.

Audience written comments

“Dr. Holt, thank you so much for the great presentation. It was really touching to hear your personal story. It brought tears to my eyes when I heard about all your hardships growing up, coming out as gay and being harassed by your own father. You are a true inspiration because you overcame all of it and are now using your experience to help others. Through your presentation I was able to better understand some of the different terms used in the LGBTQIA community. More importantly, I got a new insight into what some of the hardships this community faces and some of the ways to approach others in a sensitive and respectful manner. This helped me to be more mindful of my body language and words I use. As an interpreter, this training will help me to be more alert and responsive to the needs of all patients, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. Thank you for taking the time to share your personal experiences and helping us understand how to be better allies.”

“I really appreciate having the opportunity to learn more about the LGBTQIA+ community. Dr. Holt provided great scenarios and thought-provoking discussion questions for the class to examine and analyze. From today’s activity, I feel more comfortable talking about this topic with others. In the past, I often felt uncomfortable to talk about this because I wasn’t as informed about the different terminologies, and I was terrified of accidentally offending other people due to my ignorance. However, from today’s activity, I realized that it is okay to make mistakes and to own up to my mistakes. Every individual has their own definition/understanding of their gender identity and sexual orientation even when they use certain terminologies. To better understand someone, it is best to use the terminology that they use as well as keep an open mind so that we do not make any assumptions.”

“I appreciated that Dr. Holt began his presentation with his personal story opening, which helps to open people’s hearts and minds. The scenario exercises and the analysis that followed were very informative. I also thought that Dr. Holt created a safe space for students with different life experiences and possibly limited exposure to LGBTQ-plus identified people. Thing(s) I learned: Rule #1. Focus on the patient’s healthcare needs. Part of that requires being sensitive and alert and being able to think on one’s feet. Aim to remove barriers, not to create them unnecessarily and cause harm. Never make assumptions about anybody but ask. For example, misidentifying pronouns, gender, sex, etc.…can needlessly lose that patient’s trust.  On the other hand, winning the patient’s trust can go a long way toward the patient’s positive healthcare outcome. Stay on top of evolving LGBTQ Plus healthcare needs, culture, and languages through continuing education, reading, and learning. Signal that you are LGBTQ-welcoming. A little rainbow heart sticker on a badge can make a  world of difference to make someone feel safe. The lessons learned can apply to all aspects of life: business, personal, family school, etc… Thank you for the fantastic, heartfelt presentation.”

“This presentation is a must-have one for everyone, especially for training Medical Interpreter students who are or will be working in the medical setting.  I learned: Understand the LGBTQIA community members and treat them equally and respectfully just as the same ways we expect others to treat us anytime and anywhere. In case, my co-worker, classmates, and / or any close friend telling me their gender identities and sexual orientations, we know how to handle the situation smoothly. We must accept who they are and keep our relationship (friendship) unchanged. In addition, we will provide any peer supports to them whenever applicable and available.”

“Great! I like the way that Dr. Holt helped us to distinguish the different concepts of LGBTQ through case study. I learned that the different definitions of LGBTQ. The most impact one to me  is to respect different groups before I fully know about them.”

“It was a great topic to learn, especially I live in San Francisco where the LGBTQ community is enormous. Not just the LGBTQ people, but other people also can be their supporters. I think people all need to be open-minded and try to understand the others, so that there will be no discrimination nor conflict between each person or community. I had a great opportunity to learn more about LGBTQ. Before learning this topic, I couldn’t distinguish each alphabet and the type of people. However, I have more understanding and conformity toward the LGBTQ people now.”

“I really like that the vignettes work the topic about the LGBTQ+ from something more general to something more specific and more complex, making it easier to understand and approach. Thank you so much Dr. Holt. This was a wonderful class and I appreciate it so much for you to share all this with us. I learned sometimes you will be the first person that some might open up, so please be kind and show your support to them; Don’t make assumptions when someone opens up to you – Always start with: Thank you for sharing this with me. Please feel free to tell me more about it; As much as possible use gender neutral vocabulary. Don’t label them. Just use the terminology that the person uses; When introduce yourself, use your pronouns as a way to make them comfortable to be open with theirs.”

“Thank you Dr. Holt for the presentation. I learned a lot that I never know about before. I learned: Sex is about anatomy sex; Gender is about self-identification; Sex orientation is whom to attract. I learned how to be respectful during the interpretation counter, and how to create a safe statement let others know I am the safe place to talk with me. I always respect the LGBTQIA community. Today’s class taught me that people might get into struggle about their identity. I learned how to be respectful and do my best to help ones in a healthcare setting.”

“The vignettes and the discussion it generated in the large group were great. The vignettes are relatable and are common scenarios LGBTQ folks may encounter. I like the discussion points because they prompt me to think about not only why it’s important to understand gender and sexuality, but also think about how using inclusive nonverbal and verbal communication can affect the patient’s experience and their health care. I’m glad more awareness is being brought these issues.”

“I really appreciate that Dr. Holt shared his experience today, I understood that people experience such a huge struggle and life-threatening situations such as depression, alcohol/drug use, threats by homophobia people, suicide intent. The suicide attempts rates are incredibly high, especially for transgender people. I also learned that they live with lots of fear, fear of being rejected by loved ones after coming out. Even after coming out, their life could be very challenging without good and comprehensive support. Actually, I had an impression that LGBTQ people are happy and intelligent. I don’t know if I feel that way because I live in SF or if the time changed since 1960. But today I learned about different side of their lives, vulnerabilities, and struggles, I will keep it in mind and learn more about it to understand better. Thank you so much for giving us the precious opportunity to learn.”

“The vignettes were great, and the discussion points really got me to think more critically and helped me have a better insight of the LGBTQIA+ community. Thank you so much, Dr. Holt! The most important thing I learned is that we identify a person’s sexual orientation by their gender identity rather than their anatomical sex. Today’s activity would have an impact on how I speak or what to say especially if I were in a situation like the DL scenario. From this scenario, I learned that we should be mindful of not making assumptions as it can be offensive.”

“I was happy to see that a person like Ron Holt has helped so many people nationwide to understand LGBTQ issues. In many areas people don’t have the most basic knowledge, so there is so much discrimination. I learned: The issues of gender identification, and preference in partners are different issues. The case studies were touching. Today’s information and talk will help me have an open mind when meeting people. I will try not to make assumptions.”

“Vignettes were thought provoking. Through case studies, I could understand the 2SLGBTQIA+ community better. I learned: there are not only two genders in our society but also some non-binary people who do not identify themselves exclusively men or women. Society is now much more diverse than ever before. Everyone should be respected and not be judged even though they are different. Understanding and acceptance are very important. Learning more about the 2SLGBTQIA+ community will help improve behaviors and create a more supportive social environment.”

“Provided great scenarios to start a discussion that help people learn about LGBTQIA+. Sexual orientation is based on gender identification. Negativity makes them less likely to open up, so  we should make them feel safe and welcome. Be more aware of how to address others using open-ended and gender-neutral language to make them feel included.”

“Learned about the terms used by the LGBTQ community. Be more inclusive about genders. Do not make assumptions. People from the LGBTQ community are treated differently occasionally within a hospital or clinic in the United States. I always think a patient must feel very safe and comfortable in a healthcare facility.”

“Good lecture! I learned a lot about LGBTQIA, will respect them when I have them as my classmate/co-worker/colleague and client. Take their feeling into account in whatever we say or do. Through the discussion we become more empathetic and understanding of transgender people. One day as a medical interpreter if we see transgender patients I’ll know how to talk to them and treat them, will treat them as nice as we treat regular patient. 

“I learned: Don’t assume people’s gender and always ask people how they want to be address. Today’s activity allows me to understand the various pronoun that exist in today’s gender culture, which made me more aware of people’s need to the recognize as individual.” 

“It is hard for a person in the LGBTQIA to disclose the importance of a provider to pay attention in minimum requirements, learning the terms, listening, practicing inclusivity, not assuming – asking the person, getting all the cues in order for the individual to feel safe, respected and be able trust and provide what the individual is suffering from. Speaking to someone can prevent suicides in the community because there can be support, awareness and empathy. Letting the individual know when an action is taken not for the individual to be surprise.  In expressions when a patient is hurting allowing the providers to promptly apologize and not ignore the issues. Let the individual know how the examination will begin where they will be touched instead of feeling shock, surprised, nervous, anxious, etc. simply provide details as best as you can and if you don’t know something simply ask in a professional and appropriate manner.”