The new Keck Medicine of USC program provides comprehensive care that, until recently, has been largely relegated to LGBTQ+-focused clinics.
Gender-affirming care tends to the physical, mental and social well-being of transgender and non-binary people while respectfully affirming their gender identity, says Laura Taylor, MD, a family medicine physician at Keck Medicine and the program’s medical director.
“We provide all the services that somebody may need in the course of their health care over time, including primary care for all medical conditions,” Dr. Taylor says. “Additionally, we provide supportive services for people who may be interested in gender-affirming interventions like hormones, surgeries and some mental health care.”
The program also helps provide education to Keck Medicine staff, medical trainees and the community on best practices in transgender health care.
Transgender and nonbinary patients have long faced mistreatment or marginalization when seeking health care.
A 2021 study from the Center for American Progress found that 1 in 3 transgender patients said they have had to teach their doctors about transgender people.
And, until recently, care for this population has been largely relegated to LGBTQ+-focused clinics, Dr. Taylor says.
Comprehensive health care for transgender and nonbinary adult patients
Dr. Taylor encourages new patients to start their journeys with one of Keck Medicine’s family medicine doctors to build a trusting, long-term relationship while covering their routine and preventive health care needs.
These providers, she adds, can also collaborate with specialists who can best serve the needs of each patient.
These include — but are not limited to — experts in endocrinology, gynecology, otolaryngology, occupational therapy, physical therapy and plastic surgery.
We provide all the services that somebody may need in the course of their health care over time, including primary care for all medical conditions.Laura Taylor, MD, director, Gender-Affirming Care Program
A person’s transgender identity does not equal a need or desire for surgery, says Roberto Travieso, MD, the program’s surgical director.
For those who choose it, however, gender-affirming surgery is a component of the Keck Medicine program — including a full spectrum of chest and genital surgeries (top and bottom surgeries), as well as facial procedures, voice surgeries, and gender-affirming hysterectomies.
To further understand and meet the needs of a diverse population, Keck Medicine recently partnered with The TransLatin@ Coalition, a Los Angeles advocacy group.
The care program also works with Keck Pride, the health system’s employee resource group dedicated to fostering an inclusive, supportive environment for members of the LGBTQ+ community.
“We are really excited about providing high-quality, equitable care to the transgender and nonbinary population and advocating for this community at Keck Medicine,” Dr. Taylor says.