My secret

About a third of sexual minority medical students choose not to disclose their sexual identity or orientation during medical school, according to a study by Stanford researchers.

An online survey distributed to all medical students in the United States and Canada during the 2009-10 academic year found that of the 912 respondents who indicated they were sexual minorities, 269 (about 30 percent) reported that they concealed their sexual identity in medical school.

“Fear of discrimination was the most common theme — discrimination from peers, from your evaluators and faculty members, also from patients,” says Matthew Mansh, lead author of the study and a fourth-year medical student.

The study results were published online in Academic Medicine.