Last week, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists released a statement telling their members that they should be prepared to treat transgender patients or refer them to physicians who might be able to do so.
“Transgender patients have many of the same health care needs as the rest of our patients,” said Eliza Buyers, MD, former member of The College’s Committee on Health Care for Underserved Women who helped develop the new recommendations. Health outcomes for the transgender community are very poor due to their lack of access to health care, noted Dr. Buyers. “It would be wonderful if all transgender patients had the resources to be seen in a specialized clinic, but the reality is that many forgo care because they don’t. By increasing the number of ob-gyns providing care to transgender patients we can help improve the overall health of the transgender community.”
This is great news, and hopefully represents a general shift in the way providers serve LGBTQ patients. As we have said in the past, LGBTQ Latin@s do have specific reproductive health needs, and it is important that provider organizations are helping to prepare their members to attend to the needs of this population. Of course, much more is needed for providers to be fully trained on LGBTQ health – LGBTQ health needs to appear in medical school curricula, providers need to be culturally competent to the multiple communities that LGBTQ folks are a part of – but this represents a great start.