Transgender Patients & Research In Medical Transition

Transgender Patients & Research In Medical Transition

by Charlie Blotner

This upcoming Sunday, September 17th, I will be giving a main stage presentation at Stanford Medicine X at noon PST:

Medicine X 2017 will explore the way in which individuals can push health care change through citizenship; thinking through what citizenship means for all stakeholders in health care, and the ways in which all must work together to make the change that we wish to see.

If you’re interested, you can watch much of the conference program which runs from 9/16-19, and my talk on the conference live stream, here.

About a dozen or so presentations take place at any given point in time, but for a presentation on the main stage, everyone gathers in that one room to listen. They listen, because a talk is assigned to the main due to social relevance or the heightened medical importance of the subject matter.

When I submitted my abstract for the conference back in April, the trans military ban wasn’t a hot topic. Those tweets had yet to be twiddled. My trans health abstract was considered to be of utmost medical importance before this population was thrown into the political spotlight. Now, in September 2017, the trans military ban is of huge social relevance, and is being scrutinized from all angles. The American Medical Association even released a statement against it.

While I hope that questions during the Q&A portion of the talk can remain focused on trans health research, I nevertheless anticipate the inevitable curious queries on bathrooms, the military ban, and general anatomical invasiveness that we are unfortunately so accustomed to.

My role at MedX has evolved over the past few years from patient, to presenter, to advisor, but one thing has stayed the same: my dedication to pushing the trans health agenda. In previous years at this conference I have given talks about the role of gender in the patient experience, how to be a better provider for trans patients, how we can improve our health care system to be more inclusive, and most recently, the tender politics of access to care that balances the WPATH Standards of Care with Informed Consent.

My talk this weekend starts with a look back at the history of trans health through trans pioneers (and my favorite almost ftm4mtf love story) Michael Dillon and Roberta Cowell. Despite increased visibility and attention to trans health, current research and provider education hasn’t caught up with our needs.

Trans patients need medical professionals who are trained to treat us, as well as scientific studies about our longitudinal health outcomes. Patients waiting for health solutions in silence, and providers guessing what we want or need not only fails to help, but carries the potential for causing harm.

nifty promotional description for the talk

Feel free to tweet me questions, comments, or concerns. The conference hashtag is #medx, and the hashtag for my particular presentation is #medxgender.

Trans Health Research That Matters

On another note, Micah and I have submitted a manuscript about the series Transgender Health: Patients & Providers for publication in a journal!

While we wait to hear back, we are raising funds so that we can cover the cost of getting the article to press. Part of gatekeeping in academia and health care means that most journals have paywalls, which grossly limits who can view the information. To make sure our article will be accessible by all – including those in the trans community without access to academic journals – we made the decision to submit to an open access journal. With open access, however, comes quite a hefty submission fee by the authors.

So, if you are able, willing, excited, amused, or feel so inclined, please consider donating at We also appreciate an enthusiastic shout out on social media.


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