A Concerned Medical Student Speaks Out
I started medical school after already completing two rounds of graduate level training and a military tour of duty. I expected my assumptions to be challenged and relished the opportunity to learn to analyze complex cases from diverse viewpoints. Expecting that some of these ideas would make me wince while others would make me enter new realms of understanding, I hoped that the result would help me learn to guide my future patients in their journeys toward wellness.
Instead, I find myself sending out this anonymous gasp - a gasp of the canaries - into the cyber universe. It has to be anonymous because any resistance to the politically correct trans-gender agenda would instantly get me labeled as a bigot. My hope in writing is that if enough people join together, critical analysis and honest inquiry will be restored to medicine
More than halfway through my program, despite passing every class and meeting every requirement, I fear dismissal, refusal of licensure, and professional retribution for simply asking science-based questions on transgender care. What, you may ask, is my view? It is . . .
- That gender dysphoria in children is often a symptom of other psychiatric problems.
- That children who suffer from gender dysphoria should be evaluated and treated by a trained psychiatrist or psychologist for other mental conditions before undergoing hormones or irreversible treatments.
- That since long-term studies do not show a reduced suicide rate among persons who have undergone gender affirming procedures, they are unethical to perform in children.
- That hormone therapies expose patients to increased risk of cancer, autoimmune, and cardiovascular disease, so should be delayed as long as possible. Younger patients are at greater risk because they are still developing and will undergo the treatment for a longer periods of time.
- That giving testosterone to biological females, estrogen to biological males, or chemically delaying puberty may exacerbate underlying mental illness in their still-developing brains.
All of the above concerns deserve thoughtful discussion and research. Surfacing them in public could have grave consequences to my education and future career. So far, I have seen two professors dismissed for smaller violations.
Nearly every class involves transgender content. It may be being forced to share our “preferred pronoun,” interjecting a trans-gendered case study in our drug addictions case study, or being subjected to lectures that make breastfeeding a gender neutral activity. Instead of critical analysis, we are subjected to an endless string of indoctrination sessions. Here is a small sample:
- Pubertal suppression for gender dysphoric children is to be initiated at the first signs of puberty.
- Child protective services are to be called if parents resist gender affirming treatments, presumably to reduce suicide risk in the child. (We are not presented with the longitudinal studies demonstrating this to be ineffective. Such studies are weak or nonexistent or fail demonstrate a benefit.)
- Refer these children to a trans-competent counselor. It is inappropriate to see if they can be helped with less invasive means.
- Eliminate “woman’s health” language from your vocabulary and your practice.
- We are expressly told, “Do not to assume there are mental health concerns in trans individuals.” How can this be when there is a high rate of mental illness, victimization and suicidal behavior in this population?
No cautions about sexual exploitation or screening for sexual abuse are issued although both of these tragedies are correlated strongly with gender dysphoria. Instead, we are told to regard all consensual sexual activities in teenage patients as healthy and to encourage sexual experimentation. We are told that it is judgmental to encourage teens to limit sexual expression to long term relationships, love, or marriage. Sex is purely for pleasure. We are not to discuss reducing risky choices, but rather encourage teens to be “safer” in their exploration.
This training requires many of my colleagues, including myself, to violate our personal ethics, morals, and religions. This is true for people in my class who are agnostic, Hindu, Muslim, Christian, and Jewish. We all feel marginalized and silenced. There is not a way for me to respect my religion while complying with this treatment philosophy. This is a violation of our constitutional rights, but never mind that. All must bow to the whim of the social engineers. We must adopt the rhetoric. The few instructors who disagree are bullied into silence.
So back to the canaries. They are gasping for air in our modern medical system. Who are they? They are the critical thinkers, the people of faith, and most of all, transgender persons who are being ill served by a system that is exploiting them.