The Heersink School of Medicine is dedicated to providing an inclusive environment for faculty, trainees and students who identify as LGBTQ+. Discrimination against members of the LGBTQ+ community is prohibited, and the Office for Diversity & Inclusion is working to pursue mentorship initiatives to empower LGBTQ+ individuals within the Heersink School of Medicine. 

The Heersink School of Medicine was recognized in 2016 as a leader in LGBTQ+ health care equality by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, HEI picturethe educational arm of the country's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization. For more about this honor, read here

This honor is granted to exceptional institutions throughout the United States. For more on the Healthcare Equality Index, read here

Last year, Medical Grand Rounds featured Harvey Makadon, M.D., spoke on the necessity of achieving health equity for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. LGBTQ+ issues are not merely a matter of equality, he argued, they are a matter of life and death for many people within those communities. For the full report on his speech, read here

It is increasingly important for centers of academic medicine to embrace inclusion for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender health care trainees as one in five of healthcare professionals who identify as LGBTQ+ believe that their academic medical center doesn't provide a supportive environment to facilitate a successful career, according to a study published in LGBT Health, featured here

It is for these reasons, and because of the Heersink School of Medicine's commitment to excellence through diversity and inclusion, that the school is dedicated to advancing the career development of all faculty, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual or gender orientation. 

Nicholas Van Wagoner, MD, serves as the ombudsman for LGBTQ+ faculty. He can be reached via email at nvw@uab.edu.