COSAS member John Schneider, Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology, spent the year utilizing a pilot grant funded by the Delhi Center for the “Trans MedEd initiative” to work on establishing core transgender cultural competencies in Indian medical schools. Professor Schneider worked alongside Dr. Aniruddha Hazra, Assistant Professor of Medicine and with local partners convened through Sangath, a nonprofit organization in Goa, India.
In 2021 and 2022, the group used a model of ‘Development, Review, and Dissemination’ to reach students, medical educators, clinicians and the wider community. They held four workshops in each of three different sites. These all led up to their National Conference in May of 2022. As a review of competencies, they released five criteria for clinicians, members of healthcare teams, communicators, life-long learners, and other professionals. Their outputs included a queer sensitivity booklet, a competencies booklet, and a more extensive advocacy booklet. In addition to the workshops, the group hosted other community events such as Transgender Remembrance Day with trans activist Dr. Aqsa Shaikh.
The national conference on May 5-6, 2022 aimed to disseminate the developed competencies, build consensus on the way forward, and share best practices in trans-affirmative healthcare and education. Among the attendees, there were doctors, lawyers, students, and activists.
The group continued its advocacy through meetings with media and governmental organizations, participation in other LGBTQIA+ conferences, authoring op-eds and news articles, public events, campus events, and other forms of community engagement.
In what its members refer to as “TransCare MedEd 2.0,” the group plans to continue developing queer competencies, training modules, models of queer-affirmative teaching, and begin an exchange program. Part of this will be done through five student internships for students enrolled in health and allied professional campuses. These students will receive a stipend, access to digital resources, mentorships, virtual networking, and a platform for showcasing their work so that they can work towards universal LGBTQIA+ inclusion on their respective campuses.
More information on the initiative can be found here.
Congratulations to Professor Schneider on his continued efforts in the Trans MedEd Initiative.