More Patients Seeking Transgender Physicians

Approximately 1.4 million Americans identify as transgender and gender nonbinary (TGNB). A GLAAD survey from 2017 showed that nearly 12% of millennials identified as TGNB. And a 2020 survey from the Trevor Project found that 1 in 4 LGBTQ youth use pronouns or pronoun combinations that fall outside of the binary construction of gender.

According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, Less than 1% of U.S. medical students and Physicians self-identify as transgender or gender nonbinary (TGNB), yet the population of TGNB individuals is growing exponentially. They need Doctors who understand their unique health concerns.

The TGNB community have high rates of depression, self-harm, homelessness, disordered substance use, and HIV and other sexually transmitted infections, with trans youth and racial/ethnic minorities being the most vulnerable.

“Over half of all transgender people have had to teach their provider about their health care,” said Gillian Branstetter, spokesperson for the National Center for Transgender Equality.

A third of all trans people in a 2015 survey reported at least one negative experience while seeing a health care provider, including harassment and denial of treatment. And nearly a quarter of the respondents said they skipped needed care out of fear of being mistreated.

“‘For trans by trans’ is really key, because we hear that message a lot from our patients and our community members who are used to being not understood, who are used to being mistreated. It’s hard to explain, but to be able to know that who you’re going to is someone who understands the experience that you’ve had — that in itself can be part of the gender-affirming experience,” said Soltan Bryce, an M.B.A. student at Harvard Business School, a trans man, and chief of growth for Plume, a Denver-based startup that provides telehealth services to the trans community.

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