Pharmacy Faculty Co-Write Article
Drs. Jennifer Mathews and Amy Parkhill, Assistant Professors in the St. John Fisher College Wegmans School of Pharmacy, recently collaborated with staff members from the Gay Alliance of Genesee Valley on an article that was published in INNOVATIONS in Pharmacy, an online pharmacy journal.
The article, “The Need for Transgender Health Content in the Pharmacy Curriculum,” addresses transgender patients and how they often have complex medical, psychological, and social concerns. According to the article, these patients may not only need to learn to manage complicated medication regimens, which can have significant side effects, but may also face many barriers to treatment. Some of those barriers include difficulties with insurance, fear of discrimination, lack of support, and a mistrust of the healthcare system. Given the important role that medications play in maintaining their quality of life, the article suggests that pharmacists are in a unique position to not only improve the healthcare that transgender patients receive, but also to improve their perceptions of the system.
The article also talks about how current literature shows that little has been done to educate pharmacists on the specific needs of the transgender patient. Parkhill and Mathews say that the likelihood that pharmacy students will encounter transgender patients in their pharmacies will increase as more transgender individuals begin to live their lives authentically. And for that reason, they are recognizing the critical need to increase pharmacy student awareness of the healthcare issues facing this population.
The article concludes that by increasing education and awareness of the barriers to healthcare that transgender patients face, students will receive the training required to care for their patients in a culturally competent way.
Jeanne Gainsburg and Scott Fearing from the Gay Alliance of Genesee Valley contributed to the article.
INNOVATIONS in Pharmacy is a quarterly publication featuring case studies, clinical experiences, commentaries, idea papers, original research, review articles, and student projects that focus on leading edge, novel ideas for improving, modernizing, and advancing pharmacy practice, education, and policy.
Dr. Amy Parkhill
Dr. Jennifer Mathews