I need to get a new doctorPosted: January 9, 2014 Filed under: Testosterone | Tags: Androgel, doctor, gender identity, genderqueer, medical treatment, non-binary, testosterone, trans, trans health, transgender health 8 Comments
I got a doctor last February so that I could get on testosterone. He has been fulfilling that need, but I am realizing that I want a doctor to also fill other roles. For example, I’m sick right now (I’m slowly realizing maybe I have
the flu a really bad cold.), but there’s really no way I would go to my doctor about that, or something like it. I would avoid my doctor unless it were really an emergency, or unless I need more testosterone (which, not having testosterone would totally feel like an emergency!). And I’m starting to find myself wanting a doctor who A) is nice, B) will answer my questions C) will spend an adequate amount of time with me. I’m pretty sure that’s not too much to ask.
I do not like having to have a doctor. If if weren’t for the T, I probably would continue not having a doctor. I have not really had a doctor since I was 18 and under. I’ve gone to some health centers, and I’ve had psychiatrists, but I’m pretty turned off to the whole thing. My therapist has slowly been convincing me that I could find someone I connect with and could go to for medical concerns as I age. I understand how this might be beneficial. She’s even in the process of looking into someone who is trans-knowledgeable for me, and I’d be super grateful if it works out.
I got referred to my current doctor by a therapist I wasn’t really liking. But I went to him because he apparently treats trans* people. There are a couple of good things about him. Mainly, he doesn’t seem to give a fuck. This has worked in my favor in some ways. He’s leaving it totally up to me how much Androgel I wanna take, basically. He doesn’t care that I don’t want to physically transition or that I don’t identify as FTM, exactly. On the first prescription he wrote me, he checked off both the boxes for M and F. I liked that a lot! (But the pharmacy did not, and basically every trip to the pharmacy has resulted in calls back to his office, issues with the way he wrote something out, etc.) He first tried to get me on a different topical testosterone which would be an amazing deal, like ridiculously low monthly costs. The fine print, however, stated this was only for men 18+, and he failed to catch that, resulting in more hassles at the pharmacy. Currently, he’s writing the script in such a vague way (dosage-wise) that I’m getting a really good deal (Like $6.25 per month) and I’m able to stockpile a supply (which I don’t think he knows about). But, again, it caused issues at the pharmacy.
I would trade all that in (my thriftbrain is not in control of me!) in order to go to someone I could talk to and who would answer my questions. My doctor is gruff and impatient, he apparently has no time for me (visits have been 97% waiting, 3% face-time), and he seems to want to place blame on me for his lack of caring and follow through. For example, I know I should care about my blood tests, but I don’t. So I don’t take the initiative in making sure I get them done at regular intervals. Should I? I’m pretty sure that’s his job. When I was most recently there he asked when my last blood-work was done, and I said I didn’t know. He glanced at my chart and said, “April?!! You have to get these done every couple of months!” I just shrugged and said, “I don’t know these things!” I felt as exasperated as he seemed. It may not be totally fair, but his attitude dictates my attitude, essentially. If I had a doctor who seemed to genuinely want my blood-work and to then talk to me about it, I’m pretty sure I would be motivated to get the blood work done. It’s pretty simple. It’s kinda how a doctor-patient relationship works.
Especially if the patient isn’t a big fan of doctors to begin with. I’m ready to be convinced they can actually be OK.
The right doctor really does make all the difference. I love my current doctor, who prescribes my hormones. She treats a lot of trans folks, is very knowledgeable, and is queer herself–so I feel comfortable with her. She has a warm manner, shows genuine interest, and talks to me about my care as well as my life. Doesn’t make visits fun, but does make them okay. So–it’s definitely possible. I hope you can find someone good in your area! My doctor sees almost every trans man in the city where she works (1 hour from where I live) so I heard of her through the grapevine. Maybe any trans* folks you know in your area can recommend someone, or let you know the reputation of the doc your therapist recommends.
Yeah, I should definitely try to find out where other trans* people in the area go – thanks for that idea. I gotta get back into community – I’ve been sort of isolated from the trans* community lately…
I still don’t have a primary care doctor and I really should. I live shouting distance from the Callen Lorde center in NYC (LGBT clinic) and it takes my insurance, so I have no excuse except for my fear of doctors. I just stare and the phone and don’t pick it up.
It is likely that there is someone in your vicinity who is queer friendly and had experience with trans* patients.
Yeah, it’s definitely nerve-wracking. A goal for this year?
I found a potential doctor to go to, but I have yet to make a phone call.
Unfortunately the doctor my therapist was looking into only sees trans* adolescents and up to the age of 26 years old. : (
The National Center for Transgender Equality has a really good page about finding a trans friendly healthcare provider, or at least making the one you have more trans friendly: http://transequality.org/Issues/health.html
Depending on your area you may be able to google “trans friendly doctor” in your city to find someone.
Hope that helps!
That does help; thanks for the link – I’ll check it out. The problem with my doctor isn’t so much that he’s not trans friendly… he is just not people friendly, and I doubt he’s about to change!
Good luck with this! My partner is switching doctors for similar reasons (he chose his old doctor because she is herself trans* and we thought she’d be up to date on everything, but she had never prescribed topical T before and had no idea about dosing or risks for partners or any of that stuff, and she was also just a little weird–she forgot why my partner was there once and called him by his birth name, she told him his voice sounded sexy…). I think it’s really important to have a doctor you can go to for all your health stuff, who will treat you as a full person, not just “a patient on T” or “a patient with a cold”. My partner is going to see the new doctor on Wednesday, so hopefully it will go well. I hope you find someone too!
Yeah, having a good doctor seems doable, and so why not keep searching?!! No reason to just put up with things just because they’re providing you with access to things you need. Hope your partner’s new doctor is a good fit!