The health care field hasn't been immune to this and the issue of transgender care is exploding within our discipline as well. As Dr. F, an old, married to a woman, white guy who wears sweater vests said to me with serious, straight face, “Transgender care is really hot right now.” As a medical student, it certainly feels as though that's the case; anyone who's at all liberal wants to talk about transgender care. Obviously, it's about time.
When I think about society's discussion about healthcare in the United States the first three things that come to mind are: cost, insurance coverage, and fat people. Personally, I think about cost, obesity, and healthcare inequities. As these conversations continue, it seems like more and more, the US is accused of relying on expensive technology and medications to solve our problems instead of low cost, behavior interventions.
But most doctors are scientists. We weren't born to counsel people about their nutritional habits, we were born to diagnose and heal disease! Figuring out how to get people to make lasting lifestyle changes is difficult. Confronting the implicit bias that pervades our society, medical community, and ourselves is hard work and messy. Transgender care is a developing field that uses surgery and pills, all while addressing the needs of a marginalized community: that's everything we love about medicine wrapped up in an easy, feel-good package. I think it's telling that while we're all gung-ho about the physiologic treatment of transgender folks, there isn't much accompanying interest in the psychiatric effects of living in a society that stigmatizes you.
I don't mean to rain on anyone's parade. I think it's fantastic that we finally have an interest in caring for a community of folks that have been marginalized and ignored for far too long. Just don't be type II diabetic AND transgender; we don't feel like dealing with that.