The continuing medical education event brought together local and national experts
in the field.
To help primary care doctors better understand and more effectively treat the growing
number of transgender patients in the US, PCOM recently hosted a continuing medical
education lecture on transgender medicine, which brought together local and national
experts in the field to speak on a variety of topics such as continuity of care, counseling
services, surgical options and hormone treatments.
Among the event’s speakers was Rachel Levine, MD, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf’s appointee
for Physician General—and the first transgender woman to hold the title. She discussed
transgender medicine among pediatrics and adolescents, and called for more gender
confirmation care providers in Pennsylvania. She also stressed that gender identity
is more than just one’s physical characteristics.
“Gender identity is up here,” she said, pointing to her head, “not down there.”
Other speakers included PCOM alumni AC Demidont, DO ’00, symposium co-chair and director
of transgender medicine at the CIRCLE CARE Center in Norwalk, Conn.; Christine McGinn,
DO ’95, founder of the Papillion Gender Wellness Center in New Hope, Pa.; Sherman
Leis, DO ’67, professor and chair, plastic and reconstructive surgery, and founder
of the Philadelphia Center for Transgender Surgery; Joan Grzybowski, DO ’87, assistant
professor, family medicine, who focuses on LGBTQ health; Monique Gary, DO '09, breast
surgical oncologist at Grandview Health in Sellersville, Pa.; and Kathy Rumer, DO
'00, aesthetic and reconstructive surgeon at Rumer Cosmetic Surgery, Ardmore, Pa.
Traditionally, it has been difficult for this population to receive adequate care;
a recent study by Lambda Legal found that 70 percent of transgender patients had experienced
discrimination in health care, and another study by the National Center for Transgender
Equalityand the National LGBTQ Task Forcefound that 33 percent either postponed treatment or did not seek preventive care due
to those past experiences.
“There is a lack of continuity of care among transgender individuals,” said Lisa McBride,
PhD, chief diversity officer and symposium co-chair. “Because primary care providers
are often on the front lines of treating this population, it was important for us
to bring them together to understand not only how best to provide care, but to ensure
that care is maintained throughout the healthcare system.”
Thus far, the College has taken several steps to augment its medical education curriculum,
to better prepare DO and physician assistant studies students to address LGBTQ issues,
including an interactive course for second year students to learn more about the unique
health disparities facing this community, such as rates of HIV and cancer.
The College is also making its campuses in Philadelphia and Georgia more welcoming
to transgender individuals who want to practice medicine—research shows that patients
are more likely to trust a clinician who shares their background. These include the
establishment of the LGBTQIA subcommittee of the President’s Diversity Council; the
establishment of Safe Zones on both campuses; and the construction of gender-neutral
About Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
Founded in 1899, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) has trained thousands
of highly competent, caring physicians, health practitioners and behavioral scientists
who practice a “whole person” approach to care—treating people, not just symptoms.
PCOM operates three campuses (PCOM, PCOM Georgia and PCOM South Georgia) and offers doctoral degrees in clinical psychology, educational psychology, osteopathic
medicine, pharmacy, physical therapy and school psychology, and graduate degrees in
applied behavior analysis, applied positive psychology, biomedical sciences, forensic
medicine, medical laboratory science, mental health counseling, non profit leadership
and population health management, organizational development and leadership, physician
assistant studies, school psychology, and public health management and administration.
PCOM students learn the importance of health promotion, research, education and service
to the community. Through its community-based Healthcare Centers, PCOM provides care
to medically underserved populations. For more information, visit pcom.edu or call 215-871-6100.
For more information, contact: Daniel McCunney Associate Director, News and Media Relations Email: email@example.com Office: 215-871-6304 | Cell: