An estimated 1.4 million adults (0.6% of the US adult population) identify as transgender, according to data extrapolated from the CDC’s Behavioral Risk Surveillance System. Primary care clinicians have an important role in the health and wellness of transgender and gender-diverse (TGD) adults and need to know best practices of health maintenance and disease prevention interventions for gender minority patients. The recently published Guidelines for the Primary and Gender-Affirming Care of Transgender and Gender Nonbinary People (UCSF guidelines) define transgender as: “A person whose gender identity differs from the sex that was assigned at birth”. More and more TGD patients are seeking primary care providers, yet many providers may not be certain of appropriate screening guidelines.
First, you should know, as a provider you do not have to specialize in Endocrinology to treat TGD patients. While the evidence-based guidelines may not always be clear, there are many resources available to assists providers in treatment strategies.
A few tips to remember are as follows:
- Listen to how people describe their own identities, partners, and bodies; use the same terms.
- Avoid asking questions out of curiosity; ask what you NEED to know.
- Screen what is there.
To find out more information on screening guidelines come to my presentation on Evidence-Based Approach to Screening Transgender and Gender-diverse (TGD) Adults.
You can see Denise Rizzolo, Ph.D., PA-C speak in 2018 at a Skin, Bones, Hearts & Private Parts CME/CE Conferences for NPs, PAs, MDs, and DOs.