Are You Ready for Transgender Patients?

Joshua Safer, MD


April 14, 2017

Editorial Collaboration

Medscape &

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Hello. I am Joshua Safer. I am the medical director for the Center for Transgender Medicine at Boston Medical Center, which is the teaching hospital for Boston University. Today I am here talking about transgender medicine.

One of the most important things to recognize in regard to transgender medicine is that gender identity is a biological phenomenon. This does not mean that we know the mechanism, because we do not. We just have the confidence that it is.[1,2,3,4]

Because it is a biological phenomenon, it is the domain of us, as medical professionals, to care for these patients. Specifically, that entails a couple of things:

Know how to put together a welcoming environment. That means you actually have to talk to your staff and discuss how they will approach transgender individuals who come in to the office or call in.

Recognizing that this is a biological phenomenon, we need to understand the various medical approaches, both to diagnosis[5,6] as well as to strategies for transgender care.

Most transgender individuals who come to a medical center for care are looking for some sort of knowledgeable medical intervention, whether that be primary care or hormone therapy. Knowing those hormone strategies is going to be important.

Knowing downstream treatment options, like surgeries for those who are interested, will also be a key element to at least have in your back pocket.

Thank you.


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