Ravi Iyengar, MD – Rush University Medical Center

“I see patients who may not necessarily identify
along the binary of male or female, and may identify as somewhere in between that. Here at Rush we have a team of providers who
provide gender- affirming care, and that can range anywhere from primary care to endocrinology,
reproductive health, behavioral health, surgery, and much more. My role as an endocrinologist is providing
hormone therapies to patients and educating them on what that entails. And it’s specific to goals that a patient
is trying to achieve — whether that’s feminizing characteristics or masculinizing
characteristics. A lot of times our pronouns that have been
used for a long period of time in everyday language are restricted to this binary role
of male and female — with he/him/his pronouns and she/her/hers pronouns. But for somebody who doesn’t necessarily
identify along that binary, then those pronouns may not necessarily apply. And so other pronouns that we should familiarize
ourselves with using are pronouns such as they/them/theirs, ze/zir/zirs and others. It really is up to us to ask the patient what
pronouns that patient prefers. It’s been notoriously difficult for patients
to find providers who offer this sort of care. We do have an LGBTQ [lesbian, gay, bisexual,
transgender, queer/questioning] liaison who can help patients to navigate that process
to make that process easier and more transparent for patients.”

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