Sherbourne’s focus on LGBTQ people has resulted in our Centre having a larger than average population of transsexual and transgender (trans) clients. Because transsexual hormone treatments have been a major component of our practice, a working group of health care providers at Sherbourne, working together with trans community members, developed a protocol to reflect and inform hormone administration in the clinic. Originally prepared in 2003, it was meant to be an internal guideline to maintain consistency in hormone provision. In subsequent years, we received many requests from physicians across Ontario (and Canada) for advice around management of their transsexual clients.
The medical team at Sherbourne is made up of family physicians and nurses; we are not gender specialists by training, but rather we have developed some expertise by virtue of the volume of clients we see and manage. This gives us the ability to provide peer support for other clinicians who are providing similar care. The revision of the original protocol has been prepared with this secondary purpose in mind. It is meant to reflect our management of transsexual clients and to thus help other physicians. We also hope that this may stimulate discussion around our practice, and as such we welcome any comments or criticisms other providers may have.
We hope that this document will enable more family physicians to be involved in care of transsexual clients. It is a rewarding experience to assist someone with the integration of their gender identity, and we feel privileged to be a part our clients’ transitions. We wish to share this experience with other clinicians.