Transgender and Genderqueer Individuals’ Experiences with Health Care Providers: What’s Working, What’s Not, and Where Do We Go from Here?
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Research demonstrates health disparities between gender-minority individuals and cisgender individuals. These disparities arise from multiple sources, including negative health care experiences. This study examines interactions between transgender and gender non-binary (TGGNB) individuals and their health care providers. We analyzed 119 participants’ descriptions of positive and negative health care experiences, and what they wish providers knew about caring for TGGNB patients. Health care experiences went well when providers and staff used inclusive language, demonstrated their experience and education, and treated identity disclosure as routine. Negative interactions were characterized by misgendering, unfamiliarity with TGGNB people and health issues, and transphobic practices. Participants wished providers understood their health concerns, did not expect their patients to educate them, and created a welcoming clinical environment. Medical educators, administrators, and providers share responsibility for improving TGGNB patient experiences. Through a framework of cultural safety, we recommend several changes to ensure more equitable treatment in health care.