Variations of Pediatric Transgender Care in the Midwest

  • Heidi Glesmann School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN


The number of pediatric transgender patients seeking treatment is growing rapidly. As a result of this growth, there has been an increase in the number of clinics offering treatment; though there is variability across clinics in terms of resources and services accessible, due to various barriers. This project examines this variation in pediatric transgender care by clinic or provider location across areas of varying population density in the Midwest. Qualitative interviews were conducted with providers from Midwestern states who work with the population of interest. Interviews were transcribed and responses were organized by geographic region and similarity of responses. Major themes were identified based on commonly agreed upon topics or ones that varied by location of practice. Themes discussed in interviews included restricted access for patients, a lack of education among providers, and misinformation about the transgender population within the community. The only differences noted between providers by geographic region were patient demographics and number of providers working in their state. Providers reported that the future of transgender care is moving in a positive direction, despite the presence of significant barriers. Issues regarding pediatric transgender care transcend geographic differences. Better education about the transgender population for both providers and the community is necessary to improve care for this patient population. Democratization of care would also protect patients’ access to care, as it would be more difficult to restrict through legislation.

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