My involvement in transgender care at RIT - and how it ended
I am planning to start private practice because in May 2017, Rochester Institute of Technology's Student Health Center (RIT SHC)'s new interim medical director abruptly prohibited and terminated gender-affirming medical care at SHC that I provided until that point. This gender-affirming hormone therapy is broadly accepted standard of medical care, as the best studies show that it saves lives more effectively than almost any other prescription we use in medicine. RIT explicitly stated that my medical skills were never questioned and I or the students have never received any rational explanation for the prohibition and termination.
When I was hired by SHC in September 2015, the care of transgender students was recognized as a growing and unmet need by RIT. SHC promised "comprehensive primary care [...] without discrimination as to [...] gender identity", so RIT delegated me to multiple national conferences to gain skills and confidence in medical primary care of transgender students, including the provision of gender-affirming hormone therapy.
I received outstanding positive feedback from patients in 2017; and a formal performance review by my medical director on April 25, 2017 stated that I complied with all rules and policies. She explicitly praised my actions as a "champion of transgender students" and also for complying when instructed to stop if my supervisor felt I was "doing things on my own". I was never instructed to stop gender affirming hormone prescribing though.
Less than a month later, the medical director left and the associate VP took over as interim medical director. On her first day in this role she summoned me and declared that gender affirming hormone therapy is prohibited at SHC, compared this well-established primary care practice to performing appendectomies, and terminated my employment. This happened without any warning to me, SHC staff or the patients (some of whom experienced significant difficulty and delay in receiving proper medical care.)
The reason for this prohibition is unexplained to this date, though I hope that only procedural mistakes led to this very unfortunate situation, as I sincerely believe that the RIT community and the SHC staff continue to stand on the side of the wonderful inclusiveness and caring that I was so fortunate to enjoy for the short years I spent there. While the affected students (plus hundreds of their peers) and I are fighting for restoring the non-discriminatory medical services at SHC, I must also explore the option to start private practice to provide compassionate and professional continuity care without the risk of unpredictable institutional interruption. Please let me know if you are interested as a patient, advocate or sponsor.
I started an internal Grievance Process at RIT; a formal grievance hearing is scheduled for 9/22/2017 at 10:00 AM. I requested the meeting to be open to the RIT community; the grievance committee members' decision is pending. The location of the meeting has not been announced yet.
Please check back for updates on other (public) hearings - they are coming