Local pioneer takes health care beyond transition for transgender patients

Antionette Lee
June 16, 2019 - 4:00 am

Provided by Dr. Anne Koch


PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — This pride month there is extra assistance available to help train health care providers on how to deliver equitable care to transgender patients. A local doctor is changing the game when it comes to health care for trans people.

Dr. Anne Koch is a retired health care professional and a woman who "transitioned" in her 60's. She says when it comes to seeking health care for transgender patients there are extra barriers. 

"I treated lots of trans patients in the past," Koch said. "I've undergone this entire procedure myself."

Dr. Anne Koch
Provided by Dr. Anne Koch

She says she has a unique position to understand the holes in the system..

"I've done lots of different things in my lifetime," Koch said "This is an opportunity for me to write the book and make it a patient based approach."

Which is why the recently published author partnered with the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) for a four-part webinar series. It educates medical students and health care providers on how to deliver the quality, equitable, and holistic care that transgender patients need.

"For so many trans people, particularly people of color, they've been harassed by the health care industry," Koch said. "Not only have they been verbally abused, I've spoken to people who have been physically assaulted. I think not only is that wrong and absurd, what it starts with is education and it starts with education in your training."

Dr. Koch says she understands that as a successful, white, trans woman, she's privileged, and the disparities increase for people of color. Through her advocacy, she hopes to alleviate some of those barriers.

"I want to help educate, not just future providers, meaning medical students and residents, but also people who are providers at whatever stage," she said, "whether they're a doctor, a nurse practitioner, physician assistant, staff personnel, therapist. They all have to understand that transgender people are just like regular people in the sense that there are all different types of us."