Lessons from a Transgender Patient for Health Care Professionals

AMA J Ethics. 2016 Nov 1;18(11):1139-1146. doi: 10.1001/journalofethics.2016.18.11.mnar1-1611.


It is not uncommon for transgender patients to avoid sharing information about their identity and medical history with health care professionals, due to past negative experiences within health care settings. Professionals who show sensitivity to the topic and express care about health record documentation can increase a transgender patient's trust. There are many opportunities to increase transgender health literacy, including consultation, conferences, webinars, books, and articles focused on transgender health care. It's critical for professionals to listen closely to individual patients' stated needs. This article shares one transgender patient's encounters and experiences within health care settings and offers lessons on how health care professionals can be more inclusive, respectful, and responsive to the needs of transgender patients.

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Clinical Competence*
  • Delivery of Health Care*
  • Empathy*
  • Female
  • Gender Identity*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Professional-Patient Relations*
  • Transgender Persons*
  • Trust