Panel on "Trans Health Care from the Inside Out" Features Trans-identified Providers

March 26, 2015

Panel Co-Sponsored by the LGBT Health Initiative at CUMC

Speaking as members of the transgender community, as health care providers, and as recipients of transgender-related health care in New York City, three panelists offered their insights at an event entitled "Trans Health Care from the Inside Out" on March 6, 2015.

A crowd of nearly 100 from throughout Columbia University and the larger community -- many who were themselves future health care providers and/or LGBT-identified -- joined the discussion. The panel was co-sponsored by the LGBT Health Initiative.

Laura A. Jacobs, L.C.S.W.-R., a psychotherapist working with LGBTQ and sexual/gender minority populations, offered a perspective from the field of social work. She raised particular awareness of the needs of clients who identify as "gender-queer," as well as those lives may include a wide range of sexual practices.

Nathan Levitt, R.N., a registered nurse at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn and a training consultant at Callen-Lorde Community Health Center, shared experiences from working on nursing wards. He explained why nurses must acquire the "cultural competence" to identify trans-related health needs, such as prostate exams for transwomen and pap smears for transmen.

Jack Pula, M.D., a psychiatrist in private practice and an investigator with the LGBT Health Initiative, offered accounts of treating transgender patients with mental illness and also discussed the experience of his own gender transition while working as a physician at Columbia University Medical Center.

All three panelists are also contributors to the landmark book Trans Bodies, Trans Selves, a resource guide for transgender populations, covering health, legal issues, cultural and social questions, history, theory, and more. The book's editor, Laura Erickson-Schroth, M.D., M.A., a Fellow with the LGBT Health Initiative, moderated the panel.

(contributed by Raymond Smith, Division of Gender, Sexuality, and Health)


Departmental News, InPsych - March 2015