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Primary Care Protocols Project

Needs assessment studies in an array of cities across the U.S. have indicated that transgender people experience obstacles when attempting to access adequate primary health care. In its 2011 report on "The Health of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender People," the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies stated that "High levels of joblessness and poverty among transgender populations, particularly those of color, make lack of health insurance a problem for these individuals. In addition, both private and public health care plans severely limit transgender people's access to sex reassignment surgery or other treatments related to transgender status." Further, "A lack of training for health care providers may lead to less than optimal care for LGBT adolescents and adults," and stigma increases barriers to care.

The CoE's Primary Care Protocols Project's 9-member Medical Advisory Board came together to develop a common-sense approach to transgender care. The protocol is based on a critical review of the medical literature that exists on transgender health care, and on the physicians' combined years of clinical practice. The resulting concise yet comprehensive web-based protocol for primary care for transgender patients was created to enable physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants to quickly access accurate, peer-reviewed medical guidance, as well as resources for further study to improve both providers' treatment capabilities and access to care for transgender patients.

The protocol development effort was supported by a grant from The California Endowment. On-going monitoring of the protocol content and response to new developments in the field of transgender medicine is a priority for the CoE's future projects.

Contact us for more information on the Primary Care Protocols Project by email: joanne.keatley@ucsf.edu.