by: Sloan Rachmuth
“So the patient has never been seen at ECU before?” we were asked when we called ECU’s Pride Clinic to make an appointment for a fictional 13-year-old named Daniel, who wanted to change his gender.
EVU's patient coordinator followed up by saying, "I can’t make an appointment, the doctor has to look over it first before I do that.”
Taking a selective approach to patient selection makes sense.
Specialty clinics usually require doctors to prescreen patients outside their network either online or on calls before office consultations. This protocol seems especially prudent when treating children with experimental drugs irreversible side effects. According to the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH), doctors should screen for “co-existing psychological, medical, or social problems" that could complicate hormone therapy.
What information did ECU's Pride Clinic doctors use to prescreen 13-year-old "Daniel?" Just his fictitious name and his birthdate. That’s it.
Maybe that’s due to ECU doctors’ lack of qualifications.
This week, board-certified general surgeon Dr. Nancy Andersen published her assessment of
the Pride Clinic’s medical team:
While medical institutions like Stanford, Duke, and Yale have pediatric gender programs or centers, at least they are staffed by pediatric endocrinologists. Endocrinologists have additional training in diseases of hormone dis-regulation. Common diseases would be diabetes or growth hormone disorders. Pediatric endocrinologists also treat disorders of sexual development and pubertal disorders like precocious puberty.
Dr. Dendy is not a pediatric endocrinologist. She completed a medicine/pediatrics primary care residency only two years ago. She also lacks any published research in pediatric hormone therapy or gender dysphoria. With the support of ECU, however, she wants to bring controversial and irreversible hormone treatments into the primary care field for adults and children.
In April, ECU launched the Pride Clinic which could see children as young as 4 years old who seek a “gender transition.” The clinic’s lead, Dr. Colby Dendy, claims gender-affirmation care, including hormone therapy, should be available to people of "any age" in primary care clinics.