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Care at Student Health for Transgender Students
Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How can I schedule an appointment at Student Health?
  2. For General Medicine appointments, students can schedule online (Healthy Hoos, https://www.healthyhoos.virginia.edu) or by phone (434.982.3915). For Gynecology or Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) appointments, students can schedule by phone (Gynecology 434.924.2773, CAPS 434.924.5556). When choosing a General Medicine online appointment, students may select an appointment specifically for “transgender healthcare” (i.e. hormone refills) or an appointment for other medical issues.

  3. How can I indicate my preferred name, gender, or pronouns on Student Health forms?
  4. Students can schedule appointments and then send a Secure Message (through the Healthy Hoos patient portal) to the provider they will see, asking the provider to change gender or pronouns prior to their visit. Students can also ask providers to change preferred names, gender, or pronouns while at the visit.

  5. What care is Student Health General Medicine currently providing?
  6. Student Health General Medicine provides renewal for previously prescribed hormone therapy, as well as management of general transgender health issues. Students initiating hormone therapy will need to start the process through the Teen Health Center or UVA Endocrinology. This referral can be coordinated by one of the General Medicine providers. Student Health is creating a transgender health care team so that students can eventually receive all of their care at Student Health. Of course, General Medicine providers are happy to see transgender students for non-transgender specific health care issues at any time. We know from national data that transgender patients often delay or do not seek preventive health care or sick care. We are committed to removing barriers to care for transgender patients at Student Health.

  7. What care is Student Health Gynecology currently providing?
  8. Student Health Gynecology offers services for gynecologic concerns (STI testing, contraception, annual exams, breast exams, Pap tests, pelvic exams, evaluation and treatment for menstrual problems, assessment of vulvar and vaginal symptoms, etc.) to all students who have (or had) biologically female pelvic organs. Student Health Gynecology also offers hormone renewals for students taking estrogen. A certified SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner) nurse practitioner also works at Gynecology; she provides examinations for sexual assault evidence collection, which can take place even if a student is undecided about whether to pursue legal action. All Gynecology staff members provide basic gynecologic care following a sexual assault.

  9. What are the guidelines for STI testing?
  10. CDC updated guidelines in 2015 (http://www.cdc.gov/std/tg2015/screening-recs-2015tg-revised2016.pdf). These guidelines are not transgender-specific healthcare related but rather focus on age and risk factors.

  11. What are the guidelines for health screenings?
  12. Again, these recommendations are not transgender health specific but focus on age and risk factors. Certainly, all young adults should receive skin cancer screening, depression screening, oral health screening, and tobacco use screening annually, and diabetes and heart disease screening as needed.

  13. What services does CAPS provide?
  14. CAPS provides counseling and support during transition. Transgender students often require psychological support as they navigate the complex world of transition. CAPS clinicians can also help students with seeking letters to support transition.

  15. What care do we provide for people contemplating transition?
  16. Students contemplating transition will meet with a clinician in General Medicine to discuss resources. They will also be referred to CAPS for a counseling and support meeting. At this point, if a patient desires to start hormone therapy to transition, the student will be referred to the Teen Health Center or UVA Endocrinology.

  17. Who do we refer to?
    • Hormone initiation:
        Teen Health Center (434.982.0090, on Main Street): Care for patients through age 26
        UVA Endocrinology (434.924.1825, at Fontaine Research Park)
        Augusta Health Endocrinology (540.221.7180, Fishersville, VA)
      Fertility:
        UVA Urology (434.924.2224)
        UVA Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility (434.924.1955)
        Transgender Health Alliance of Central Virginia (THACVA) list: http://www.thacva.org/providers.html

  18. What care do we offer to people approaching graduation?
  19. The period of time right after graduation can be a difficult time with many changes, including finding a medical home. The clinicians at Student Health can help refer you to community providers competent in transgender health care needs. These resources are exceptionally helpful: UCSF Center of Excellence for Transgender Health Guidelines and WPATH (World Professional Association for Transgender Health).

  20. Thoughts about safety.
  21. Transgender students can be at higher risk for abuse or assault. Use the buddy system when going out, know your limits when it comes to alcohol, and trust your instincts which may be telling you to leave a situation.

  22. Where is Student Health going in term of offering inclusive healthcare?
  23. Our intent is to create a comprehensive primary care transgender clinic at Student Health. Eventually, we’d like to provide all the support and medical care that a student may need while transitioning. We follow the UCSF Center of Excellence for Transgender Health Guidelines. One of our General Medicine nurse practitioners, Elke Zschaebitz, is currently pursuing WPATH Certification. We’d like transgender students to feel like they have a medical home at Student Health. Please let us know what we can do to provide better services.