Questions are an important part of going to the doctor. Patients should feel confident in asking or telling their doctor anything, without worrying what the reaction might be.
Unfortunately, that is not always the case for the transgender community. It’s far too common for a transgender person to not see a doctor when they need to because of the fear of being mistreated.
Adam Foss, MD, an internist and pediatrician at our Fairview Clinic in Eagan, is helping create awareness about opportunities to improve care for the transgender community. Dr. Foss sees patients with University of Minnesota Health Comprehensive Gender Care
, a multidisciplinary team that serves transgender and gender non-binary patients.
His philosophy: “I want my patients to feel open and able to communicate any needs they might have.”
Complete care starting in your clinic
For patients considering a gender transition, their needs can include primary care, mental health, speech therapy, and surgery. For kids, care might include gender exploration or puberty suppression. Places like the World Professional Association for Transgender Health and the Endocrine Society recommend this thorough approach to meet all a patient’s needs.
Dr. Foss sees patients in various stages of exploring or seeking gender services. They may want to learn about hormone therapy, for example. Primary care providers like him work in local clinics where the wait for an open appointment is usually shorter than it is for a specialist.
“A primary care clinic offers a setting where you don’t necessarily have to feel intimidated by coming here,” he says. “It’s a normal setting that you come to for any type of medical issue, and what transgender patients are coming to treat is a normal medical issue.”
Across the Fairview system
Fairview is working to ensure that each of our 33,000 employees know how to make transgender patients feel heard. Those efforts include in-person training and mandatory online training.
Jess Trussell is the lead medical assistant at Fairview’s Eagan and Rosemount clinics. “When I meet with patients, my main goal is to make them feel as comfortable as they can. I want patients to be open and to not feel like they need to censor themselves. I want patients to walk away thinking, ‘Wow, I felt safe in this environment and I feel like they really listened to me.’”
Fairview teams want patients to know that our doors are open.
“Regardless of your background, where you’re coming from, or who you are,” says Dr. Foss, “this is a place where you can come and receive full, appropriate care and feel welcomed.”
Meet providers and staff from Fairview and University of Minnesota Health at the Twin Cities Pride Festival, June 23 and 24. We’ll be at booths O28 and O30 in the Living Well Park.
Fairview Clinics – Eagan
and Fairview Clinics – Highland Park
provide primary care as part of University of Minnesota Health Comprehensive Gender Care