Doctors are allies in the 21st Century

It was a great joy to co-host the Community Clinician Roundtable – Care of Transgender Patients with the National Center for Transgender Equality (@TransEquality) at the Kaiser Permanente Center for Total Health (@KPTotalHealth) yesterday.

The care of people who are transgender requires a multidisciplinary approach, and as I mention in my intro slides below, clinicians (and attorneys) who are in this space are by definition working in the future of health care. Transgender person health has a specific reliance on a strong medical-legal partnership, because our society has placed restrictions on the access and realization of a person’s gender identity that’s dependent on the clinician role. It’s just the way it is today.

And… “doctor as ally” should be the norm all around for all humans. I have called myself an ally for at least a year now, and now I know it means a lot more than being a health advocate – it means being a part of a team in a health system, a partner in society to end special mistreatment of people and promote good health for all.

Being an ally also carries a special responsibility which is, at times, to experience the same bias that the people you serve face. Allies get included in hostile attitudes/behaviors through association. This is why it’s a special honor that I have enjoyed, and why I have special respect for someone who identifies as “ally.” Sometimes allies are marginalized in subtle ways – it’s like we are the only people in a room full of strangers. The photo above says that that’s just a feeling – there’s a whole room of just allies. You’re welcome in any time 🙂 .

Thanks a ton to all the surgeons, physicians, therapists, nurses, office managers, policy experts who are standing with and for every human being as they achieve their life goals through optimal health. We are your #allies!

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