Purpose: The transgender community is a diverse group that requires unique consideration in the healthcare setting. However, several studies have suggested that their needs are not currently being met by our medical system. Although the reason for this discrepancy is likely multifactorial, inadequate training of healthcare professionals to manage this population has been cited as a contributing factor. Methods: To evaluate the role that Canadian medical schools play in addressing these proposed deficits, program administrators were invited to provide curricular information detailing their delivery of transgender health, and medical students were surveyed to assess the impact of current curricula on their knowledge, attitudes, and experiences with regard to transgender health. Results: Six of fourteen schools provided curricular information about their instruction in transgender health and wide variation was found; 255/1152 University of British Columbia (UBC) students and 155/2358 students from eight other Canadian medical schools responded to the survey. Greater than 95% of responders agreed that transgender issues are important and should be addressed by physicians. However, fewer than 10% of students felt that they were sufficiently knowledgeable to do so. At UBC, there was no significant improvement in the self-reported knowledge levels after receiving the transgender-related curricula, and only 24% of students felt the topic was proficiently taught. Conclusion: This study showed that the majority of students who responded do not feel comfortable addressing the needs of transgender individuals in a healthcare setting and suggests that a reevaluation of related curricula may be warranted.
- clinical care
- health education/training programs
- survey design or survey methodology