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Two tips to make your healthcare practice more trans-competent

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Sandy Baird
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Medical and other healthcare appointments are a source of anxiety for many trans and gender non-conforming people. Not knowing whether there will be a all-genders bathroom, being addressed as "ma'am" when you identify with ""sir", or having medical providers who are uninformed on trans health can make appointments tricky to schedule and keep.


Here are two easy ways to make your healthcare practice more trans-competent.


Number 1: Ask for patients pronouns on the intake forms. Best practice is like (Pronouns: ________________) to leave room for people to write them in. This allows you to avoid making assumptions about someone's gender. When you are talking about the patient in front of staff or other doctors, you can refer to them using the pronouns they listed on their intake forms.


Number 2: Get gendered-language out of the treatment room. An example would be using "pecs" or "chest" instead of breasts. Another example would be instead of saying "women's health issues" you could say "health issues for people with uteruses" or whatever body system is relevant.


There's many other ways to be a trans-competent doctor in Oakland CA and taking even small steps to make your practice more inclusive ensures better care outcomes overall. Is there any possibility of creating a gender-neutral bathroom in your healthcare center? Not making a gender non-conforming person choose in front of others which bathroom they are going to enter can contribute to their safety. If there are two existing rooms for bathrooms, consider labelling them all-gender bathrooms, one with urinals, one without.

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Sandy Baird
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