MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Richard E. Greene, MD, FACP
Medical Director, Bellevue Adult Primary Care Center
Assistant Professor, NYU School of Medicine
Associate Program Director, Primary Care Residency Program
Director, Gender and Health Education, Office of Diversity Affairs, NYU School of Medicine, OUTList
Medical Director, CHIBPS, The Center for Health, Identity, Behavior and Prevention Studies
VP of Membership and Development, GLMA-Health Professionals Advancing LGBT Equality
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?
Response: Transgender individuals face complex health disparities and have historically been mistreated and even denied care in medical settings. As a provider in New York City, I saw how this affected my trans patients, resulting in mistrust of the health care system, resulting in negative health outcomes. This sparked my interest in improving medical education to serve the needs of trans patients. It’s important to teach medical students and residents that they are not just treating a set of symptoms, they are working with a individuals with complex lived experiences who deserve compassionate care.
I found with traditional didactic methods, like lectures, learners smiled and nodded in agreement, but when faced with a patient who was transgender, they would stammer and feel uncomfortable with aspects of the cases that were specific to transgender patients, from pronouns to hormones.
Residents should be prepared to treat transgender patients not only with dignity, but also in medically appropriate ways. Without exposure to the transgender community, it’s difficult for providers to decipher their trans patients’ health care needs and contextualize them within a care plan.
In order to provide a low stakes environment for residents to practice these skills, we developed an OSCE focused on a transgender woman with health care needs specific to her transition. The goal of the case was to discuss the patient’s medical concerns while also taking into consideration her goals around her hormone therapy and surgical interests.