The University of Louisville School of Medicine is launching a new first-of-its-kind pilot program designed to focus on the specific needs of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered (LGBT), or gender nonconforming communities. This program also will seek to treat those born with differences in sex development (DSD).

Toni Ganzel, dean of the University of Louisville School of Medicine

Toni Ganzel, Dean of the University of Louisville School of Medicine

The information comes via a Nov. 18 press release from U of L.

According to the release, U of L will begin the pilot program in the 2015-16 academic year, with full integration into the curriculum in 2016-17.

According to the release, there is a need for this because these communities have different medical issues and needs than the general population, often facing challenges when they seek help from doctors, hospitals, clinics and emergency rooms.

“Research shows these health disparities result in decreased access to care or willingness to seek care, resulting in increase medical morbidity and mortality for LGBT and DSD-affected patients.”

The release notes that all parts of patient care require an informed, accepting, patient-centered approach to avoid the negative outcomes impacting the LGBT and DSD patient population.

Toni Ganzel, Dean of the U of L School of Medicine, said in a statement the school is excited to serve as the nation’s learning ground in training the next generation of physicians in meeting the unique needs of the LGBT and DSD population.

“As we strive to provide the highest quality training possible, it is a privilege to model that educational experience for our colleagues throughout the nation,” she said.