Transgender Medicine Curriculum: Integration Into an Organ System-Based Preclinical Program

MedEdPORTAL. 2017 Feb 2;13:10536. doi: 10.15766/mep_2374-8265.10536.


Introduction: There is a recognized and articulated need for health professionals to understand the definitions, health disparities, and medical management of transgender patients. This recognition comes organically from students requesting more information, and top-down from governing bodies such as the AAMC or the Liaison Committee on Medical Education. Surveys of North American medical schools indicate that training in transgender medicine (specifically, the process of transition) is infrequent and inadequate. One problem underlying this trend may be the lack of resources to help conceptualize and roll out a transgender medicine curriculum.

Methods: Here, we report the integration of training in transgender medicine into the organ system-based course Endocrine-Reproduction. This transgender curriculum includes coverage of basic science, clinical management, ethics, and clinical skills. The curriculum leverages an already existing, health care disparity-focused curriculum but adds (1) a didactic component for dissemination and discussion of basic science principles applied to transgender patients and (2) a mock initial encounter between a physician and patient with gender dysphoria.

Results: Following the first-time implementation of the transgender curriculum, students were surveyed, with a large majority reporting feeling more prepared to care for transgender patients.

Discussion: We conclude that including a multidisciplinary transgender medicine curriculum in medical school advances the goal of creating safe, effective physicians by providing fundamental knowledge about an underserved population of patients, as well as exampled application of that knowledge.

Keywords: Gender Affirming Hormones; Gender Dysphoria; Gender Identity; Patient Interviewing; Transgender; Transition.