Healthcare Presents Unique Challenges for Transgendered Populations

EDITOR’S NOTE: Monica Greene came to our attention during a Jan. 13, 2015 edition of ICD10monitor’s Talk Ten Tuesdays. The subject of that broadcast was gender identity disorder, prompted in part by the emerging national consciousness regarding the transgendered population. The LGBTQ community continues to make news, and recently, the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) published a practice brief encouraging providers to create a non-judgmental environment for LGBTQ patients. Chuck Buck conducted the following interview with Greene, a successful restaurateur in Dallas, Tex.

ICD10monitor: You transitioned nearly two decades ago. Today, when visiting with physicians, do you encounter patient information (handouts, flyers, posters, etc.) that speak to the heterosexual population and “traditional” families and not same-sex families?

Greene: The answer today is the same as 23 years ago, when I visited my first doctor after my transition. The answer is no.

ICD10monitor: Were you able (or are you still able) to list a preferred name and gender, along with your legal name and gender?

Greene: Yes. But for the record, I have never used my original male name under any of my doctors’ visits. I have always used my assigned name given to me by the state of Texas on Dec. 10, 2013: Monica Greene.

ICD10monitor: Traditional birth certificates can also pose a problem. The state of California recently revised its birth certificate legislation to be more inclusive of LGBTQ parents. Is this a problem for you?

Greene: This has never been an issue for me. Fortunately for me, I think I was the first person in Texas to have been granted the ability to change your name and sex designation at the same time. So I was able to secure a passport, driver’s license, Social Security number – all under my new assigned name and my female sex description in those documents.

ICD10monitor: In your situation today, are you finding that providers are more acceptable of your status than, perhaps, in the past?

Greene: I know that my experience as a transsexual perhaps is unusual. Throughout the years, my experience with doctors has always been a positive, “normal,” and responsible relationship. All the doctors I’ve dealt with in the past 23 years have been a sympathetic professional community. (They) always (are) anxious to learn about my personal experience and with that, to (perhaps) acquire some professional and personal knowledge to assist others.

ICD10monitor: Anything you’d like to add from a patient’s perspective?

Greene: I think that potential patients in transition of post-op visiting a doctor should be assertive, proud, and comfortable being who they are. Like any other segment of the community, they should understand that selecting a primary care doctor is an important step. And choosing the right specialist can span decades with that relationship.

In today’s world, many doctors understand the conundrum of our situation, and they seem to be more aware of us, our situation, and our unique medical needs.

Monica Greene     Monica Greene

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