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More Education Needed for Clinicians on Transgender Health

Overall, 80.6 percent of clinicians report never having received training on transgender patient care


FRIDAY, Jan. 13, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- More education relating to transgender health is needed for endocrinologists, according to research published online Jan. 10 in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Caroline Davidge-Pitts, M.B.B.Ch., from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and colleagues developed and administered a web-based anonymous survey to 104 endocrinology fellowship program directors (PDs) and to 6,992 U.S. practicing clinician members of the Endocrine Society. Responses were obtained from 54 PDs and 411 practicing clinicians.

The researchers found that according to the PDs, 72.2 percent of programs provided teaching on transgender health topics; 93.8 percent indicated that fellowship training in this area is important. Lack of faculty interest or experience was a barrier to provision of education. Online training modules for trainees and faculty were among the most desired strategies to increase transgender-specific content. Almost eighty percent of the clinicians had treated a transgender patient, but 80.6 percent reported never having received training on transgender patient care. Clinicians were very or somewhat confident in terms of definitions, taking a history, and prescribing hormones (77.1, 63.3, and 64.8 percent, respectively), but they reported low confidence outside the hormonal realm. Online training modules and presentation of transgender topics at meetings were the most requested methods of education.

"Confidence and competence in transgender health needs to increase among endocrinologists," the authors write.

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