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Transgender Awareness Week - Training for Doctors

This Transgender Awareness Week we’re shedding light on the challenges faced by our trans and gender diverse (TGD) communities and how allies can show their support.

TGD people often encounter barriers when seeking healthcare through mainstream services, with many facing discrimination, ignorance, or misunderstanding from medical professionals.

Thorne Harbour Health seeks to address this and support the health and wellbeing of TGD folk through the Trans and Gender Diverse in Community Health (TGDiCH) Program. The driving purpose behind this project is to create safe and fast access to healthcare for all TGD Victorians by equipping doctors and clinical staff with the skills necessary to provide affirming and respectful care.

The project has various education and training programs — focusing on upskilling general practitioner doctors (GPs) and healthcare workers when working with TGD patients. GPs even have the option to undertake an observership at our Equinox Gender Diverse Heath Centre.

Doctors are influential, and when they call for change, it has a significant impact on their broader networks. After attending the program, they can provide accurate information to their colleagues, patients, and industry bodies. This is an important part of improving access to safe and affirmative healthcare for TGD folk.

Medical affirmation for TGD patients is not specialty care. It is primary care, and can be facilitated by GPs and other prescribers in primary care settings.

TGDiCH Team Leader, Vic Harden

The TGDiCH program helps healthcare providers to understand that although being TGD can significantly impact health and wellbeing, these impacts occur because we all live in a society that stigmatises gender diversity.

Since 2019, the program has trained over 160 GPs from all areas of Victoria. In a 12-month post-training survey, all GPs reported an increase in TGD patients and an improvement in their practice. They also report feeling more confident in providing TGD affirmative care to their patients.

“There are some wonderful doctors already doing amazing work to educate their colleagues and advocate for better health policies for the TGD community, but more voices speaking up and standing with the community will lead to more sustainable and permanent changes to TGD healthcare,” said Vic Harden.

Are you a healthcare worker? Transgender Awareness Week might be the perfect time to upskill you and your team in TGD healthcare. Read more about TGDiCH and request a training session here.


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