June 15, 2015 — The Association of American Medical Colleges in August will launch a national pilot program to address struggles transgender individuals face in the health care system, USA Today reports.
AAMC's guidelines are the first formal standards on transgender health care delivery for medical schools and health care providers, according to Kristen Eckstrand, chair of AAMC's Advisory Committee on Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Sex Development.
Pilot Program Details
The pilot program will launch at the University of Louisville School of Medicine.
According to USA Today, AAMC's curriculum aims to train medical students about the unique health care issues facing individuals who are born with sex development differences, who are gender non-conforming, or who identify as bisexual, gay, lesbian or transgender.
The curriculum's guidelines include 30 competencies physicians must learn, including competencies in patient care and communication. According to USA Today, the competencies were drafted to be integrated into current curriculums to help individuals think of such patients as part of the overall patient population. For example, the competencies include real-life situations for students to talk about, such as how to interact with non-gender conforming children.
During a panel discussion at the University of Louisville on Thursday, Faye Jones, an assistant vice president at the school's Office of Diversity and Inclusion, said, "We're being looked at to see what works and what doesn't and to be a model for the nation."
She added, "This is a topic that has been taboo for a long time. Physicians want to provide the best care for these patients, but they may not be aware of issues and how to address someone in a culturally responsive manner" (Ungar, USA Today, 6/11).