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Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2018 Jun;158(6):974-976. doi: 10.1177/0194599818758270. Epub 2018 Feb 27.

The Otolaryngologist's Role in Providing Gender-Affirming Care: An Opportunity for Improved Education and Training.

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1 Division of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine & Public Health, Madison, Wisconsin, USA.
2 Department of Head and Neck Surgery, The Kaiser Permanente East Bay Medical Center, Oakland, California, USA.
3 Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galeveston, Texas, USA.
4 Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, University of Texas Health Sciences Center, Houston, Texas, USA.
5 Department of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA.
6 Divisions of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery & Pulmonary Medicine, Cincinnati Childrens Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA.
7 Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA.
8 Division of General Internal Medicine & Primary Care, Department of Medicine, Brigham & Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.


Currently, there are limited resources and training available for otolaryngologists and otolaryngology practice personnel to provide gender-affirming care for transgender or gender nonconforming patients. This unique patient population may present to our offices for gender-specific care or with complaints of the ear, nose, and throat unrelated to gender identity. Our current practice has unintentional but direct consequences on our patients care, as transgender patients often report negative experiences in the healthcare setting related to their gender identity. The absence of resources and training is also seen in other specialties. Physicians who create an environment where patients of all gender identities feel welcome can better meet their patients' health care needs. In addition, otolaryngologists can play a role in easing the gender dysphoria experienced by transgender patients. We suggest educational content should be created for and made available to otolaryngologists and office staff to provide gender-affirming care.


cultural competence; diversity; gender identity; gender nonconforming; gender-affirming care; queer; transgender


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