Purpose: Transgender individuals (TGI), who identify their gender as different from their sex assigned at birth, continue facing widespread discrimination and mistreatment within the healthcare system. Providers often lack expertise in adequate transgender (TG) care due to limited specialized training. In response to these inadequacies, and to increase evidence-based interventions effecting TG-afﬁrmative healthcare, we implemented and evaluated a structural-level intervention in the form of a comprehensive Provider Training Program (PTP) in TG health within a New York City-based outpatient clinic serving primarily individuals of color and of low socioeconomic status. This pilot intervention aimed to increase medical staff knowledge of TG health and needs, and to support positive attitudes toward TGI.
Methods: Three 2-h training sessions were delivered to 35 clinic staff across 4 months by two of the authors experienced in TG competency training; the training sessions included TG-related identity and barriers to healthcare issues,TG-specialized care, and creating TG-afﬁrmative environments, medical forms,and billing procedures. We evaluated changes through pre-post intervention surveys by trainees.
Results: Compared to pre-training scores, post-training scores indicated signiﬁcant (1) decreases in negative attitudes toward TGI and increases in TG-related clinical skills, (2) increases in staff’s awareness of transphobic practices, and (3) increases in self-reported readiness to serve TGI. The clinic increased its representation of general LGBT-related images in the waiting areas, and the staff provided highly positive training evaluations.
Conclusion: This PTP in TG health shows promise in leading to changes in provider attitudes and competence, as well as clinic systems, especially with its incorporation in continuing education endeavors, which can, in turn, contribute to health disparities reductions among TG groups.