Sarah Spiegel, a third-year student at New York Medical College, pushed for more education on LGBT health issues for students.
When Sarah Spiegel was in her first year at New York Medical College in 2016, she sat in a lecture hall watching a BuzzFeed video about what it's like to be an intersex or a transgender person.
"It was a good video, but it felt inadequate for the education of a class of medical students, soon to be doctors," says Spiegel, now in her third year of medical school.
The video, paired with a 30-minute lecture on sexual orientation, was the only LGBT-focused information Spiegel and her fellow classmates received in their foundational course.
"It's not adequate," Spiegel remembers thinking. By her second year, after she became president of the school's LGBT Advocacy in Medicine Club, she rallied a group of her peers to approach the administration about the lack of LGBT content in the curriculum.
For a group of Harvard researchers, communication and intervention are the keys to a new tool designed to reduce bullying of LGBTQ students around the country.
According to the most recent information gathered by the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System, lesbian, gay and bisexual students are almost twice as likely as heterosexual students to experience bullying, which places them at greater risk for suicide as well as mental and physical health problems.
A pilot project led by Sari Reisner, HMS assistant professor of medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital, led to the design of an intervention tool that can be used by schools to help improve the lives of LGBTQ students. The project is funded by Harvard Catalyst, Harvard University’s center supporting collaborative, university-wide clinical and translational investigation.