Radiology and radiation oncology considerations for transgender and intersex patients: A qualitative study

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Journal of medical imaging and radiation oncology




intersex; oncology; radiation; radiology; transgender


INTRODUCTION: In this qualitative study, we explored experiences of radiologists and radiation oncologists in providing clinical care to transgender, gender diverse (TGD), and intersex patients by asking about comfort level, relevant past training and training gaps, and clinical recommendations for TGD and intersex patient care. METHODS: A purposive sample of radiology and radiation oncology professionals (n = 16) from diverse practice settings were interviewed on a videoconferencing platform. Transcripts were auto-populated and checked manually for accuracy. Two coders used a mix of deductive and inductive coding to identify key themes. Member checking was conducted with interviewees. RESULTS: Participants reported major gaps in training, knowledge, and confidence related to all aspects of TGD and intersex patient care. Recommendations for improvements included training that encompassed key terminology, how to conduct a physical exam on TGD and intersex patients, radiology and radiation oncology adaptations for TGD and intersex patients, and care coordination among multi-disciplinary oncology team members and gender affirming care providers. Exposure to diverse TGD and intersex persons in personal and professional life contributed to higher levels of comfort among providers in caring for TGD and intersex patients. CONCLUSION: Gaps in knowledge and limited confidence characterized the sample. Training at all levels is needed to improve radiology and radiation oncology care for TGD and intersex patients.