Please join The Writers’ Exchange in congratulating A. Ianto West in the successful completion of their dissertation:

Avoiding Unhelpful Responses: A Proposed Theoretical Measure of Readiness to Work With Transgender Clients  

My project was about improving the quality of transgender care. As an underserved population, it is important that we do a good job. Many clinicians have good intentions, but poor follow through with transgender clients. Self-assessment tends to be more inaccurate the less experience one has. Since most assessment tools focus on self-reported confidence, it can be hard to determine which clinicians might cause more harm than good.

In addition, supervisors themselves often need more training in transgender care. Since it can be hard to tell which clinicians are prepared, the right screening tool could help safeguard transgender patients from harm. My project involved the beginning stages of creating an assessment tool to help supervisors assess clinicians and trainees. It started with a pilot project to create the first items and overall test design. Then, I sought out a panel of experts to review the content of the test. The test itself will need more development before it is ready to be used.

What advice would you give to others writing a dissertation? 

My advice is to first write your dissertation badly. Then fix it. This seemed to work for my flow. Otherwise, I just stared at a blank screen for days! I also found it helpful to re-write the feedback I got in my own words before I tried to fix it. That seemed to help me get through editing without feeling badly about all the areas that needed improvement.

What are your next steps in your academic/professional career? 

I’m still doing some minor research while on internship (a quant lit review). I plan to continue this during my post doc at HealthPoint Kent’s Urgent Care Clinic.

A. Ianto West, PhD, Antioch University Seattle