Response to reports about HMS medical education course

Harvard Medical School created the Sexual and Gender Minority Health Initiative to educate and train medical students in caring for LGBTQIA+ individuals and to address the needs of this population.

Recent reports referencing one of our medical education courses have neglected to mention that some infants are born with variations in sex development. HMS is sharing the statement below to clarify and correct these misunderstandings and inaccuracies related to training students to care for infants who have variations in sex development.

Raising awareness of and caring for diverse populations in order to meet their clinical, medical, and health care needs are central tenets of public health, and of HMS’ mission and values.

HMS Statement:

As part of our MD curriculum, HMS offers a four-week elective course that educates and trains medical students to provide high-quality, culturally responsive care for patients with diverse sexual orientations, gender identities, and sex development across the age spectrum.

In this context, care for infants refers specifically to physical variations in sex development that arise in utero and are present at birth. These include chromosomal, gonadal, and anatomical variations, all of which are relevant to medical care and treatment to ensure healthy development.

This course aligns with Harvard Medical School’s Sexual and Gender Minority Health Initiative, and its educational framework is based on recommendations of the Association of American Medical Colleges, which together aim to address the health needs of patients who are LGBTQIA+, gender-nonconforming, or born with differences in sex development.

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