I have several friends who are medical professionals, as well as a few friends who work as patient instructors. They teach nursing, nurse practitioner, and medical students how to give medical exams by playing the role of a patient. For three of my friends this means that they may get multiple pelvic exams in one evening so that the students learn how to do an exam as well as how to act. Bedside manner is important, after all.
Running across information on a new site called TransLine was interesting, and I sent a link to several of my medical professional friends. Dr Dawn Harbatkin is the director of Lyon-Martin Health Services and Transgender Law Center in San Francisco and states, “Because many medical providers have not interacted with transgender patients before, there is a sense of fear,” Harbatkin said. “You know, ‘I as a medical provider don’t know what I’m doing. Their high blood pressure must be different than someone else’s high blood pressure.’”
TransLine is free service aimed at health care providers, and offers information and case consultation. A close friend of mine is trans, and went to several appointments with her primary care physician before her being trans came up. Luckily, her doctor was very culturally competent and had no issues (other than being confused about why she has no date for her last period, but she got over that). I have some health issues, and there are times when a doctor or dentist doesn’t know everything about a condition I have – so they pull out their phone, and typically look up information.
While having a health issue is not nearly the same as being trans, it is something that can throw medical providers through a loop. I see TransLine as being beneficial to many individuals, even if they just want to improve their cultural competency and have no questions to post to the site. The article I linked to explains that the site’s first consultation was from a doctor wondering how to prescribe testosterone to their patient. If the doctor has never prescribed testosterone previously, they may have all sorts of questions (and it may be worth calling the pharmacy to see if they carry it).
The site is out of San Francisco, but a quick view of the site shows that providers from any state in America can submit a question. The submission form asks what state the provider is practicing in, as well as some demographic information. There are also resources provided, including some frequently asked questions and letter templates (for example, one of the letter templates is for a passport).
What else do you think the site should include, or is it perfect as is?
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