The purpose of the guidelines is to address the barriers that lesbian patients face when accessing medical care.
There has been significant progress in women’s health care over the past decade; however, there remains a paucity of literature and research about health and the lesbian woman. Lesbian patients are frequently an invisible subset in a physician’s practice. If the sexual practices of an individual are unknown or assumed, medical management may be compromised. The attitudes of physicians affect the care of their patients, especially if they are homophobic or heterosexist.
Education on sexuality and sensitivity skills will enable health care providers to obtain bias free histories. For the lesbian patient to receive appropriate care, her sexual orientation and lifestyle must be known and understood by her health care providers. Education is the first step towards improving care for lesbian patients; the final step is the enlightenment of attitudes towards sexuality among health care providers.