Providing Culturally Proficient Services to Transgender and Gender Nonconforming People

The Opportunity

With implementation of the Affordable Care Act, more Americans have access to health insurance and primary care services. However, the National Transgender Discrimination Survey documents tremendous barriers to accessing health care for transgender and gender nonconforming people. In a study of physician perceptions of barriers, lack of knowledge about how to care for transgender and gender nonconforming people and lack of knowledge of referral sources were identified as major obstacles.

Our Strategy

Cardea offers training and resources for physicians, advanced practice clinicians, and other primary care providers to deliver clinically competent, respectful, culturally proficient health care to transgender and gender nonconforming people.

We initially delivered a two-part webinar series “Clinically Competent and Culturally Proficient Care for Transgender and Gender Variant Patients.” Based on that series, we developed two independent study courses: 1) Introduction to Gender and Sexuality in a Health Care Setting; and 2) Clinical Care for Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Patients that are co-provided with the Center of Excellence for Transgender Health and Cedar River Clinics. Finally, to address the specific and unique needs of clinicians working with adolescents, we delivered a webinar Clinical Care for Gender Nonconforming and Transgender Adolescents.

The Impact

These learning opportunities resulted in improvements in participants’ knowledge and confidence related to transgender health care services and in participants’ intention and specific plans to change their practice. The vast majority reported increased comfort and knowledge with all aspects of care for transgender and gender nonconforming patients, including comfort with discussing gender, providing care, and making appropriate referrals. We also asked participants to indicate specific plans to improve health care services to transgender and gender nonconforming patients, and a significant majority reported that they plan to make changes to their clinical practice as a result of these learning opportunities.