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Dr. Sherman Leis — Discrimination Against TG Patients

| Dec 3, 2012
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Dr. Leis

(Bala Cynwyd, PA)  Transgender men and women are all too familiar with discrimination in the workplace, in public, even in the restroom. However when a person is sick or in need of medical care one would think that hospitals and the medical community would be welcoming to all. This is far from being an accurate assumption, according to Dr. Sherman Leis. Dr. Leis, a world-renowned surgeon specializing in transgender surgery, and founder of The Philadelphia Center for Transgender Surgery, has experienced first-hand discriminatory policies at many leading hospitals and other health care facilities, as well as grudging treatment and hurtful slurs from their staff people.

Said Dr. Leis, “Many of America’s leading hospitals actually prohibit transgender surgery in their facilities. Regionally, we have tried to schedule surgery at a number of hospitals and have been turned away. Many of these hospitals have written non-descrimination and diversity policies, yet are discriminatory in practice.”

In addition, Dr. Leis has observed many instances where the medical staff and support staff were not supportive and even harshly treated transgender patients.

“I have seen staff react slowly to patient calls, treat patients disrespectfully, and use hurtful terminology. Some institutions have not even come to an agreement on the definition of what transgender means, and here it is 2012,” he said.

Dr. Leis’ solution is education and awareness. He says, “First of all, every medical and nursing school should have an introductory class or course on transgender issues that every student should be required to take. Hospitals and medical institutions should be required to provide education and sensitivity training to their physicians and staff. Transmen and transwomen have unique needs and experiences that need to be understood in order to provide the highest quality medical care.”

Said Dr. Leis, “One of the reasons I founded The Philadelphia Center For Transgender Surgery was to provide a complete resource for the transgender community, through the use of the Internet. This resource is accessible worldwide. Although our focus is on transgender surgery and health, we also make available a wealth of experience and information for transmen and transwomen, as well as for the medical community in general. The Philadelphia Center For Transgender Surgery offers a uniquely supportive environment where one can connect with Dr. Leis’ surgical and non-surgical team of dedicated and experienced specialists — surgeons, psychologists, endocrinologists, aestheticians, speech therapists, legal experts, and others. These professionals are not only “trans friendly,” they have expertise in transgender care because of specialized training and experience in transgender issues. We look forward to the day when transgender people will be understood and universally accepted.”

Dr. Sherman Leis is Board Certified in General Surgery and Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, and one of the world’s pre-eminent transgender surgeons, having performed hundreds and hundreds of transgender surgical procedures including facial feminization, chest reconstruction, vaginoplasty, phalloplasty, and others.  He is also a speaker, writer, and medical school Professor of Surgery, with over 30 years surgical experience. 

The Philadelphia Center For Transgender Surgery is located in suburban Philadelphia at 19 Montgomery Avenue, Bala Cynwyd, PA  19004. 

Phone: 610-667-1888.

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Category: Transgender Body & Soul


About the Author ()

I am a writer, editor and educator. I was one of the 5 founders of the Renaissance Transgender Education Assoc., and have served on the boards of IFGE and AEGIS. I've published several books on CD/TS/TG subjects. My how-to books are available at the CDS Bookstand ( I am most proud of "Coping With Crossdressing: Tools and Strategies for Couples in Committed Relationships". I was an early TG political activist and one of the co-founders of GenderPAC. I wrote and published a Bill of Gender Rights in December 1990. I've appeared on several television shows and in the movie "All Dressed Up And Nowhere To Go". I published "LadyLike" magazine for 18 years, as well as "EnFemme" magazine and "International TranScript". (JoAnn passed away in June of 2013.)

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