Expanding Pharmacists’ Social and Clinical Expertise to Empower Transgender Patients

Presenter: Sarah Samel

Research Category: Health Sciences
College: Bouve College of Health Sciences
Major(s): Pharmacy
Student Type: Graduate
Graduation Date: 2022
Additional Authors: Amanda Maffa, Izzy Schnake
Award Winner Category: Illuminating Complex Problems

The number of transgender individuals in the United States as of 2016 was 1.4 million, with this number increasing every year. Public health studies show the transgender patient population faces a disadvantage due to significant disparity in healthcare. As this population wrestles with health, social, and fiscal issues, pharmacists are in a unique position to help. Previous studies show that pharmacists are accessible and trustworthy providers, making them ideally poised to help transgender patients understand their medications. Despite efforts by many pharmacy programs to incorporate transgender care into the curriculum, pharmacists often receive inadequate training regarding interactions with the transgender population as well as transgender appropriate medication dosing. This study is rooted in two surveys: the first is a survey of pharmacists, assessing their competency in providing care to transgender patients, from both a social and clinical perspective. The second survey is of transgender and cisgender patients to determine the experiences of both groups while interacting with pharmacists and the healthcare landscape. The results of the study will be used to develop educational programming, including continuing education opportunities for pharmacists and curricula for schools of pharmacy. The goal of these interventions is to increase knowledge and understanding of transgender medicine, to improve interactions between pharmacists and patients, and to provide top-quality care. Through these measures, pharmacists will have the resources necessary to empower transgender patients and to help break barriers to optimal health.