What You Should Know as a Transgender Patient Before Seeing a Doctor
As a transgender patient, you will experience many different challenges when it comes to health care. Over the years, transgender patients have had to deal with discrimination and a shortage of medical professionals who understand the unique needs of this sensitive population. As such, you may have some challenging experiences while seeking medication for different issues. This may cause you to avoid seeking medical attention for preventive and severe medical conditions. Like other transgender patients, you may postpone medical care when you develop an illness or injury out of fear. At New York transgender medicine, we believe in equality and that everyone should access quality healthcare without discrimination. Before you visit a doctor as a transgender or non-binary patient, you need to know a few things. This article details everything you need to know about seeing a doctor.
Table of Contents
Find the Right Doctor
Your medical needs as a transgender patient vary significantly from those of other patients. To find a medical doctor who understands your unique needs, you need to look for brochures and signs representing the transgender community. They should also have enough training about any issues affecting transgender patients and their wellbeing. Additionally, the doctor and their staff should have a non-discrimination policy covering gender identity and sexual orientation. Since you may need a hospital stay, your doctor should provide ideal accommodations to make you comfortable. It is even better if they work with staff trained on transgender sensitivity.
Ensure That They Have Your Baseline Medical History
After finding the right medical doctor, view them as someone who will help you as your body adapts to the different changes. You should tell them about your personal and family medical records so they can manage your medical screenings such as cardiovascular, cancer, bone, health, and diabetes screenings. Cancer screening for transgender patients needs a unique modified approach to current mainstream guidelines. A good doctor should understand surgery and hormones and how it changes when dealing with transgender patients.
Discuss Your Goals and Expectations
Not all non-binary and transgender patients look for medical transitions such as surgery and hormones. However, if you consider this option, you need to work with a medical practitioner who understands how to administer and monitor hormones. They should also understand pre and post-operative care. You need to ask your doctor about the experiences they have had with transition-related medical care. If they do not know this field, they can refer you to a specialist. Talk to them about your goals for hormone therapy, necessary lab work, and any other relevant details.
Talk About Your Sexual History
Many transgender patients skip pelvic exams out of fear of discrimination. They also forego preventive medical care such as STD screenings, and this can harm your health. Although awkward, you need to discuss your sexual health with your doctor. They can help you understand how to engage in safe, affirming sex that suits your identity and body.
To summarize, transgender patients have unique medical needs, and you need to know a few things before visiting a doctor to ensure that you get the best care possible. First, you need to find the right medical doctor. Once you do, provide them with your baseline medical history and talk about your sexual history and the goals and expectations.