Psychology and medicine students went through the training on rights and needs of trans persons, and medical aspects of gender reassignment

Sarajevo Open Centre (SOC), on 18 February 2019 in Sarajevo, held the training for psychology and medicine students named “Medical aspects of gender reassignment: On adequate, trans specific and inclusive services and support providing to trans persons in the transition process”.

Education was led by Iva Žegura, MSc, clinical psychologist (Psychiatry Clinic Vrapče, Zagreb) and Tea Dakić, MD, psychiatry resident (Psychiatry Clinic of Montenegro). This half-day training gathered 20 students, future medical professionals, from Sarajevo and Mostar, as well as members of students’ associations in fields of psychology and medicine. They presented to the participants the psychology and psychiatry perspectives in the process of transition of gender variant/ non-conforming, transgender and transexual persons, as well as the experience of the trans persons from BiH.

One of the trainers, Tea Dakić, pointed out the issue of minority stress that trans persons experience because of social stigma, marginalisation, discrimination, violence for what they are. She emphasised the supportive role and importance of the individual estimation and treatment that psychiatrists should make in the transition process.

The participants are satisfied with the education and say that it helped them in better understanding transgender persons and their needs in the healthcare system, and that this training and knowledge they take out of it will be useful in their future professional work in the fields of psychology and medicine. They also expressed the need to participate in similar trainings in the future.

In the next year SOC will continue organising education for endocrinologists, gynecologists and urologists, as well as for plastic, reconstructive and aesthetic surgeons on this topic, with hope for intensifying further efforts towards enabling the adequate medical gender reassignment services in BiH. For that cause, we created the publication Medical Aspects of Gender Reassignment: Manual for medical professionals and healthcare workers on providing services and support to trans persons in the transition process, that aims at raising awareness on trans identities, problems, needs and human rights of trans persons within the BiH healthcare system.

The manual and training we realised are a part of the project Positive Action Programme for MSM & Transgender People“ that is supported by ViiV Healthcare UK Ltd. For any additional information on the project, please contact Programme Coordinator Delila Hasanbegović ([email protected]).