Gynecology association, led by profs, issues 'gender diverse' person advisory

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists issued an advisory on treating patients who “identify as transgender” or are “gender diverse.”

The paper was written by professors from the University of Iowa and Brown University; ACOG’s president is a professor at New York University.

Two professors who work with the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists published advice on treating patients who “identify as transgender” or are “gender diverse.”

The guidelines — written by Beth Cronin, a professor at Brown University’s Warren Alpert Medical School, and Colleen Stockdale, a professor at the University of Iowa’s Carver College of Medicine — offers “guidance on providing inclusive and affirming care as well as clinical information on hormone therapy and preventive care.” 

The professors says that OB/GYNs should “strive to make their offices open to and inclusive for all individuals and should seek out education to address health care disparities, both in their individual practices and in the larger health care system.”

First and foremost, the paper tells physicians to “take steps to educate themselves and their medical teams about appropriate language and the health care needs of transgender patients.” The authors provide an extensive list of definitions borrowed from the Human Rights Campaign for terms such as “gender identity,” “gender expression,” “gender nonconforming,” “agender,” and “genderqueer.” 

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The authors also included a definition for “chestfeeding”: a term that “masculine-identified individuals” use “to describe the act of feeding their child from their chest regardless of whether they have had chest surgery.”

The paper then provides a list of guidelines to create an “inclusive” medical environment for transgender individuals. Physicians are encouraged to “train and empower front desk staff, nursing staff, phone staff, billing staff, and others who interact with patients on appropriate ways to ask about names and pronouns,” “ask all patients what pronouns they use,” and “ensure that at least one restroom is gender neutral and accessible to all patients.”

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The guide refers medical professionals to “those seeking information on the care of transgender adolescents.” For example, readers are advised by the Endocrine Society to refrain from offering hormone treatment to pre-pubertal gender-dysphoric individuals but encourage medical providers to consider such treatments for older adolescents. 

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists spokeswoman Kate Connors told Campus Reform that the organization “supports the provision of appropriate and evidence-based care for transgender and gender diverse adolescents.” With respect to chestfeeding, the group “does not create guidance for hospitals to follow, but rather for obstetrician-gynecologists to incorporate into their practices.” The glossary offered by the paper is “intended to aid our members in learning from our guidance, which has a section about chestfeeding.”

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists boasts a membership of more than 60,000 medical professionals. It is heavily staffed by members of the professoriate, including its president, Eva Chalas, who works as a professor at the New York University Long Island School of Medicine.

Campus Reform reached out to Cronin, Stockdale, and Chalas for comment; this article will be updated accordingly.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @BenZeisloft