Health Professions Students’ Knowledge, Skills, and Attitudes Toward Transgender Healthcare

Anita Vasudevan, Antonio D. García, Bethany G. Hart, Tiffany B Kindratt, Patti Pagels, Venetia Orcutt, Tad Campbell, Mariana Carrillo, May Lau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Most graduate medical education programs dedicate almost no time in their curricula to the topic of transgender health. This study aimed to assess medical (MD), physician assistant (PA), and clinical nutrition (CN) students’ self-reported knowledge, skills, and attitudes toward healthcare for transgender patients and identify differences between groups. This cross-sectional study was conducted at a single United States academic health center. Students were surveyed using a questionnaire with 16 Likert-type items. A total of 178 MD, 96 PA, and 28 CN students completed the survey. Most (67%) respondents reported a “high” level of personal comfort in caring for a transgender patient, with no difference between groups (p =.57). MD students were more likely than PA or CN students to report greater knowledge of gender dysphoria management (p <.001) and transgender care guidelines (p <.001), as well as a greater skill level in caring for patients with gender dysphoria (p =.009) and inquiring about gender identity (p <.001). All three groups, however, reported overall “low” or “intermediate” levels of knowledge and skills. Our research demonstrates that MD, PA, and CN students exhibit an equally high degree of personal comfort in caring for transgender patients but lack the knowledge and skills to confidently care for them.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Community Health
StateAccepted/In press - 2022


  • Cultural sensitivity
  • Graduate medical education
  • Health disparities
  • Sexual and gender minorities
  • Transgender persons

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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