Improving confidence and comfort in delivering healthcare to transgender patients
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As the population of transgender individuals continues to grow, it becomes increasingly important to expand the knowledge base for healthcare providers in the area of transgender health. Although transgender individuals may require specific needs that differ from patients who do not identify as transgender, healthcare visits for everyone are rooted in mutual trust and respect between provider and patient. Perhaps the most valuable tool a provider possesses is their ability to convince patients to accept care from them. Despite this, many transgender patients are not given the opportunity to receive care from knowledgeable and trustworthy providers. Transgender individuals often experience discrimination upon disclosure of their gender identity and are frequently the target of microaggressions in the form of inappropriate gender pronoun use by their providers. Transgender individuals are especially dependent upon primary care providers, as these professionals oversee the comprehensive healthcare needs of their patients and can make appropriate referrals to specialists for gender-affirming therapies. Although many medical schools across the nation are implementing transgender health into their didactic and clinical curriculum, many current-day providers received their medical training devoid of education in transgender health. As such, these providers lack both confidence and comfort in completing healthcare visits with this population. Physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants can all serve as primary care providers and these professionals receive training that includes classroom education and clinical learning. Thus, the proposed study will include both a formal lecture on transgender health and a hands-on intervention with transgender actor patients. Acquisition of confidence and comfort will be assessed through pre- and post-intervention surveys. After completing this seminar and hands-on intervention in transgender health, it is predicted that primary care providers will have increased confidence and comfort in delivering care to transgender individuals.