A team of University of California, Irvine medical students led by second-year student Soe Thein received the 2016 LGBT Health Achievement Award from the American Medical Student Association. The group, which also included students from UCLA and USC, were awarded in recognition for hosting the Southern California LGBT Health Conference, which was held in UC Irvine’s Medical Education Building on Feb. 20.
The conference was created to bring attention to the healthcare needs of LGBT communities in Southern California and to provide a forum for the discussion of new trends in LGBT healthcare issues. More than 250 students attended the conference. Thein said he is excited by the overwhelmingly positive feedback from the participants.
“There is a clear need to train competent and compassionate healthcare practitioners to address systemic issues of health care disparities affecting LGBT communities,” he said. “Though the success of our conference, other medical schools throughout the country have been inspired to hold similar ones that focus on LGBT health issues. So this has been great.”
Thein was the lead UC Irvine organizer for the 2016 conference. The team received their AMSA achievement award at its annual convention on March 31 in Washington, DC.