Jacqueline S. Landess, MD, a 2010 Vanderbilt University School of Medicine graduate, is the theme issue editor for this month's edition ofVirtual Mentor, the American Medical Association’s online journal of medical ethics for students, residents, and physicians, examines ethical issues confronting medical students and physicians. The featured topic for August 2010 is “Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Patient Care." In her introduction, Landess acknowledges that the field of medicine has yet to fully support the GLBT community in its practices.
"Medicine has made significant but incomplete progress in understanding its lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) patients and colleagues. In 1986, homosexuality-based diagnoses were removed from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Today the profession has a Gay and Lesbian Medical Association, supports repeal of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, and endorses equal hospital visitation and surrogate decision-making rights for LGBT partners. Still, as this month’s authors assert, physicians must develop greater comfort in discussing sexuality and greater competence in caring for members of LGBT communities."
Titus Daniels, MD, an Assistant Professor of Infectious Diseases in the Department of Medicine at Vanderbilt, contributed his article, "Let's Talk About Sex," a brief exploration of how health professionals communicate with their patients about sexually-related topics.
Landess is a first-year resident in psychiatry at Northwestern University. She also holds a doctorate degree from Indiana School of Law in Indianapolis.