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Stanford Study Finds Many LGBT Medical Students Fear Discrimination

STANFORD (CBS SF) – A newly-released study from Stanford University researchers found many lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students in medical school chose not to disclose their sexual identity or orientation and many feared being discriminated against.

Researchers surveyed all medical students in the United States in Canada during the 2009-2010 academic year. Among the 912 medical students who said they were LGBT, about 30 percent said they concealed their sexual identity and 40 percent said they worried about discrimination.

The study also found two-thirds of med students who identify as something other than male or female concealed their gender identity.

Respondents said the most common reasons for remaining "in the closet" because they believed that sexuality and gender identity was no one's business, a fear of discrimination and lack of support from peers or family.

"Fear of discrimination was the most common theme — discrimination from peers, from your evaluators and faculty members, also from patients," lead author Matthew Mansh said in a written statement.

The study is published in the journal Academic Medicine.

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