It is estimated that up to 10% of the population identify themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgendered     . Davis states that if a physician believes they are not seeing any gay or lesbian patients, then they are not asking the right questions. One participant, in an in-depth survey of rural lesbians, said if you think that you don’t have lesbians or gay men as patients, it’s because "people perceive you as not being sensitive... we won’t share with you unless we feel safe."
While the majority of patients will be heterosexual, a significant minority of patients will not be and for this reason, LGBTI health issues are important for any medical practitioner.
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9. Anonymous [Council on Scientific Affairs, American Medical Association]. Health care needs of gay men and lesbians in the United States. Journal of the American Medical Association. 1996;275(17):1354-1359.
12. Tiemann AK, Kennedy SA, Haga MP. Rural Lesbians' Strategies for Coming Out to Health Care Professionals. In Ponticelli CM, Ed. Gateways to Improving Lesbian Health and Health Care: Opening Doors. pp. 61-75. Binghamton, NY. The Haworth Press, Inc.; 1998.