The transgender community reports discrimination and lack of knowledge from their health-providers; both are identified as barriers to effective healthcare.1-8 However, health professionals receive little formal training in transgender health.9-14
A multidisciplinary team, including members of the transgender community, delivered a single education session to (a) year 3 medical students (MS) and (b) General Practitioners (GPs). Participants completed a questionnaire before and after the lecture about their capacity to deliver transgender healthcare15,16 A total of 81 MS and 50 GPs completed the pre-lecture survey; 79 MS and 43 GPs completed the post-lecture survey. Participants’ confidence to assist with adult transition care significantly improved after the session for both MS and GPs (see Figure). After the session more participants felt they were able to assist an adolescent requesting transition (MS 14% to 35%; GPs 10% to 57%; p<0.001); and provide support for a gender-questioning child (MS 15% to 29%; GPs 14% to 63%; p<0.001). The understanding of appropriate preventative cancer screening improved in MS (49% to 74%) and GPs (87% to 96%). A third of MS (33%) and half of GPs (49%) considered gender identity to be constant after adolescence and to have an underlying biological basis; this remained similar after education (MS 35%, p=0.17; GPs 55%, p=0.67). The positive safety/risk profile of hormonal and surgical treatment was found to be the most persuasive evidence for providing care. Following the intervention significantly more MS (49% to 75%; p=0.002) and GPs (77% to 84%; p=0.04) agreed that hormonal and surgical treatment should be offered to the transgender community.
A single educational session changed the attitudes of MS and GPs toward the delivery of transgender health. Access to competent healthcare improves the psychological and physical health of people with gender dysphoria.1,17,18 Transgender health training should be available to all health-providers7,15,16