Transgender Patients and Health Care Challenges

Limited Access to Health Care

One of the challenges encountered by transgender patients refers to the lack of adequate access to healthcare services. As noted by Cruz (2014), they have to face stigma while assessing the primary care that is expressed in diagnosing and using the medical language. Based on the National Transgender Discrimination Survey, the author argues that transgender patients face 50 percent delays in health care provision compared to 20 percent of those encountered by the rest of the population.

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At this point, the direct discrimination occurs when physicians or nurses refuse to serve transgender due to the self-identification of the first. The structural discrimination then appears when health care deliverers are not properly equipped to provide care for the mentioned category. The postponed care is also associated with the internal stigma, when transgender patients prefer not to seek health care because of discrimination. The identified challenge shows an immediate need to initiate measures on improving transgender access to health care.

Insufficient Experience and Expertise in Treating

Many health care deliverers are not sure how to provide services for transgender patients and how to treat them. These “vast amounts” of uncertainty are caused by the lack of adequate experience and training to guide the medial decision-making (Shuster, 2016, p. 321). The recent study shows that some doctors use the rhetoric of evidence-based medicine (EBM) to treat such patients, while others flexibly interpret them. In other words, there is no systematic approach to transgender patients and their needs, in particular. Considering that transgender medicine works with an identity of a person, it is necessary to develop and implement the corresponding recommendation to meet the expectations of the mentioned category of patients, providing them with the high-quality health care, creating an open atmosphere, and building appropriate relationships.


Cruz, T. M. (2014). Assessing access to care for transgender and gender nonconforming people: A consideration of diversity in combating discrimination. Social Science & Medicine, 110(1), 65-73.

Shuster, S. M. (2016). Uncertain expertise and the limitations of clinical guidelines in transgender healthcare. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 57(3), 319-332.

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