The cover photo of the journal "LGBT Health"

Screening, Counseling, and Shared Decision Making for Alcohol Use with Transgender and Gender-Diverse Populations

November 25, 2020

A new paper by Jacob Arellano-Anderson, HMS student, and Alex S. Keuroghlian, HMS Associate Professor of Psychiatry, discusses the limitations of current alcohol use disorder (AUD) screening tools for accurately assessing and counseling transgender, nonbinary, and gender diverse patients. 

Abstract: At-risk alcohol use occurs among transgender and gender-diverse (TGD) populations, yet current alcohol use screening tools and guidelines do not distinguish between sex- and gender-related characteristics, having been developed without accounting for natal sex-based physiology, effects of gender-affirming medical care, and gendered drinking behavior among TGD people. More research on how sex- and gender-related factors independently influence alcohol use can help validate gender-inclusive screening protocols and develop evidence-based guidelines meaningful for people of all genders. In the interim, clinicians must be mindful of gender diversity and engage in transparent, collaborative discussions when screening for and counseling about alcohol use.

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Panel Discussion: COVID-19 and the LGBTQ+ community

June 24, 2020

Dr. Katz-Wise wrote “COVID-19 and the LGBTQ+ community: Rising to unique challenges” for the Harvard Health Blog in April 2020 and so far over 2120 people have read it. Her piece remains one of the few published on the ways our community is impacted by this pandemic. With all of the media coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is striking that the conversation has not addressed the ways this pandemic is affecting LGBTQ+ people.
Pride Month offers us the chance to reflect on the barriers and stigma we continue to face in healthcare, policy, research, and our own families. Pride Month is also an opportunity to reflect on our communities’ strengths. This panel discussion offers us a chance to come together and learn from our own LGBTQ+ community at Harvard Medical School as we work together to change the conversation.

A video recording of the panel can be accessed here

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A Call for Gender Identity Data Collection in iPLEDGE and Increasing the Number of Isotretinoin Prescribers Among Transgender Health Providers

May 28, 2020

A new paper by Sean Singer, HMS student starting dermatology residency, and Alex S. Keuroghlian, HMS Associate Professor of Psychiatry, describes the potential benefits of Isotretinoin in treating acne related to HRT for transmasculine people. The paper also discusses the current barriers to Isotretinoin access and recommendations for change, including gender-inclusive data collection for the iPLEDGE program and increasing the number of trans-affirming health providers who can prescribe Isotretinoin in order to avoid referals to additional providers.

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U.S. medical schools boost LGBTQ students, doctor training

February 21, 2020

Aliya Feroe recalls the flustered OB-GYN who referred her to another physician after learning she identified as queer. For Rhi Ledgerwood, who was designated female at birth, identifies as trans and doesn’t have sex with men, it was a doctor advising about condoms and pregnancy prevention. For Tim Keyes, who came out as gay at age 17, it’s when doctors automatically assumed he sleeps with women.

Ask any LGBTQ patient about awkward doctor visits and chances are they’ll have a story to tell.

When being heterosexual is presumed even in doctors’ offices, those who identify otherwise can feel marginalized and less likely to seek medical care, contributing to health problems that include high rates of depression, suicidal behavior, alcohol and drug use and inadequate health screenings, LGBTQ advocates say.

Read the full article here

trans flag

A Blueprint for Planning and Implementing a Transgender Health Program

January 23, 2020

Transgender and gender-diverse people face multiple barriers to accessing appropriate health care, including denial of service, harassment, and lack of clinician knowledge. This article presents a blueprint for planning and implementing a transgender health program within a primary care practice in order to enhance the capacity of the health care system to meet the medical and mental health needs of this underserved population. The steps described, with emphasis on elements specific to transgender care, include conducting a community needs assessment, gaining commitment from leadership and staff, choosing a service model and treatment protocols, defining staff roles, and creating a welcoming environment.

This article was authored by an HMS student and HMS faculty. It can be accessed here.

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Resource for Understanding the Health and Identity of Transgender People

June 26, 2019


In celebration of LGBTQ+ Pride month, LAHMS is proud to offer this resource created by first-year Harvard medical student Casey Orozco-Poore for the Racial Justice Coalition's "Essentials" series. In this presentation, you will find more information on the health and identity of transgender people, which features basic definitions, cultural context, health disparities and clinical recommendations for health care workers. Casey is a leader of the LAHMS student group and proud to offer this free resource created for students, physicians and educators to utilize in their efforts in creating safe clinical spaces for all patients.

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The Labor of Representation

December 18, 2018

In college, a professor cautioned me that future patients would feel “much more comfortable” if I dressed and acted more “femininely.” One medical school interviewer found 4 different ways to ask if I thought it would be awkward to interact with female patients as a queer woman in obstetrics. A friend warned me not to be “out” in medical school after he spent his first year tokenized as one of the few openly gay students who was consistently asked to help fill in the many curricular gaps regarding health issues affecting the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) community.

Read the whole article here.

Group Rally

HMS Students Rally against Discrimination: Faculty, staff also support rights of intersex, trans and gender-diverse people

November 5, 2018

HMS students, faculty and staff gathered in the TMEC Atrium on Nov. 1 to stand in solidarity with intersex, trans and gender-diverse friends, families and patients. The demonstration was part of a national movement initiated by the Medical Student Pride Alliance in response to an article in the New York Times about a leaked U.S. Department of Health and Human Services memo regarding a government definition of gender based on biological sex. Additionally, students were rallying in support of voting yes on a Massachusetts ballot measure that would keep in place a law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of gender identity.

Read the full story here.