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Sat Sep 19, 2015, 01:25 PM

Transgender? A Doctor Won’t See You Now

Trans patients face do-or-die situations when trying to find transition care. But the medical community is not ready for them.

In August 2014, Kailey Truscott went to her primary-care doctor with a letter and a mission. The letter, from a therapist, confirmed what she’d known since she was 7—she was a woman. The doctor’s appointment was to begin medical treatment so her body would reflect that fact.

But the path to transition wasn’t so simple. Her doctor didn’t balk, but she didn’t write a prescription for estrogen, either. She’d never provided hormone therapy to a transgender person before, she told Truscott. She didn’t feel comfortable starting now.

But she didn’t leave Truscott in the lurch. Instead, about a week later, she called Truscott with mixed news. She’d found a clinic that could do transition care. But it was more than two hours away from the small western Maryland town where Truscott lives.

“It’s the only place around here that I could find,” Truscott, 31, remembered her doctor saying.

Now, when she needs transition-related care, Truscott drives an hour to a Metro station, takes a train for another hour, and then walks for 15 minutes to Whitman-Walker Health, an LGBT clinic in Washington, D.C. “Imagine when my appointment is at 8 a.m.,” she joked.

Even in areas where transgender patients flock to get care, providers can be hard to find, said Barbara Lewis, a Whitman-Walker physician’s assistant who has been providing care to transgender patients for decades."


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Reply Transgender? A Doctor Won’t See You Now (Original post)
damnedifIknow Sep 2015 OP
MineralMan Sep 2015 #1
lindysalsagal Sep 2015 #2
Yo_Mama Sep 2015 #3

Response to damnedifIknow (Original post)

Sat Sep 19, 2015, 01:55 PM

1. I'm not surprised that a doctor with no experience in

transgender transitions would be hesitant to provide those services. If I were in that situation, as a patient, I'd certainly want someone familiar with the transition process to provide care. It's unfortunate that this person has to travel to see an experienced physician, but I think that's preferable, overall.

It's difficult to live in the boonies and have specialized medical needs.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #1)

Sat Sep 19, 2015, 10:06 PM

2. Agreed. Docs send you to specialists for your own good. "Do no harm" requires they be honest about t

the limitations of their expertise. If they mess up, we'll sue them. Their insurance requires them to limit their practices to where they feel their training is adequate to the task.

Let's face it: Transgender medicine is almost unknown. Can you name one med school or hospital or internship that specializes in it? If you can, it's one of a very few, so most people who need one will only find one nearby if they're in large cities.

Doctors are not god, as much as we'd like them to be.

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Response to damnedifIknow (Original post)

Sat Sep 19, 2015, 10:27 PM

3. It needs to be done by a specialist, most certainly not a primary-care doctor.

The GP did what the GP could - found a source where such treatment could be knowledgeably provided.

It's a rare condition, so a lot of people will have to travel to get proper care.

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