Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Fall 2017 - 11

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Transgender people, like everyone
else, need medical care, whether it is for
issues specifically related to their gender
identity or just primary and emergency
care. However, transgender people face a
number of barriers that prevent them from
accessing the competent and compassionate
health care that they need and to which
they are entitled. Public policy can
help to break down these barriers, but
unfortunately it can also serve to prop
them up.
There are several surveys that
investigate the issue of discrimination
against transgender people in the United
States. One such survey, the 2015 United
States Transgender Survey, conducted
by the National Center for Transgender
Equality, states that one third of the
survey's respondents reported a negative
experience with a health care provider
related to being transgender. This survey
also found that twenty-three percent of
the respondents did not go to see a doctor
when they needed to out of fear of being
mistreated because of their gender identity.
The National Transgender Discrimination
Survey, conducted by the National Center
for Transgender Equality and the National
Gay and Lesbian Task Force, found that
in Pennsylvania alone, an average of
fifteen percent of transgender people were
deliberately denied health care because of
their gender identity.
Surveys and statistics are one thing,
but individual personal experiences add
depth to the understanding of issues that
transgender people face when attempting
to seek health care. In interviewing several
physicians with experience working with
transgender patients as well as transgender
people with experience being patients,
I have heard several shocking stories of
experiences that comprise daily life for
transgender people. Often, primary care
providers will refuse to treat a transgender
person for health issues that have no
relation to their gender identity. It is not
uncommon for a transgender person to
go to a doctor for, say, intestinal distress
only for the doctor to tell them that they
are not comfortable treating a transgender
person and referring them to a specialist in
transgender health. Of course, transgender
patients should go to a specialist to receive
care related to any transitional needs, but
the issue occurs when a physician would
be perfectly able to treat a patient and

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refuses to do so because of their gender
identity. There is also a distinct paucity
of specialists in transgender transitional
care and it is not uncommon for a
transgender patient to have to routinely
travel several hours just to see a doctor
about their transition. Dealing with
insurance companies is also a frequently
dehumanizing experience for transgender
people when they are denied medications
and procedures that they need because of
their gender identity.

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Imagine that you have diabetes. Or
perhaps you are one of the many Americans
that do. You have to go to the doctor.
But when you get there the doctor can
only shake his head and tell you that he's
sorry, but he doesn't have enough of a
background in diabetes to treat you, even
though you are only there for a checkup.
You'll have to go see a specialist three hours
away. The nurse is not exactly sure what
"insulin" is; are you sure that's something
continued on next page >
FALL 2017

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http://www.EyeConsultantsOfPA.com

Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Fall 2017

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Fall 2017

Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Fall 2017 - 1
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Fall 2017 - 2
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Fall 2017 - 3
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Fall 2017 - 4
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Fall 2017 - 5
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Fall 2017 - 6
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Fall 2017 - 7
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Fall 2017 - 8
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Fall 2017 - 9
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Fall 2017 - 10
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Fall 2017 - 11
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Fall 2017 - 12
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Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Fall 2017 - 14
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Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Fall 2017 - 20
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Fall 2017 - 21
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Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Fall 2017 - 26
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Fall 2017 - 27
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Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Fall 2017 - 29
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Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Fall 2017 - 31
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