Vanderbilt Opens Clinic For Transgender Patients

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Finding a trusted healthcare provider can be a challenge for anyone. It can be even harder for members of the transgender community. Now, Vanderbilt Health has a new clinic focusing on comprehensive care. 

Carla Lewis says finding a doctor is scary. 

"It's very scary. And you have to tell the same story to every person that you go to that's a new provider. And if they reject you you have to do it again with somebody else," she said. 

Carla is transgender. She transitioned in the 1990s and says when people think of transgender health care they immediately think of transition. 

"Transgender people need wellness care and illness care just like anybody else. Often we find that doctors will refuse to care for transgender patients claiming ignorance on how to treat the patient when you treat a runny nose or a broken arm the same you do anyone else," she said. 

So how do transgender patients find doctors who treat, but don't judge?

"When there's no clinic like this in the community what people have to do is rely on word-of-mouth to find doctors who are affirming and welcoming," said Lewis. 

Vanderbilt Health is taking the guesswork out of the equation by opening a multi-specialty clinic that will see transgender patients Friday afternoons from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. 

The clinic is by appointment only. It is located at the intersection of Highway 70 South and Old Hickory Boulevard. 

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