Local doctor works to help transgender patients

Local Health Alert

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) – The field of medicine is certainly no stranger to change. With new technologies and studies, scientists and physicians are always developing their work. It also includes expanding the type of patients they see. One physician in Midtown has a practice that includes transgender patients. 

“I go by he, him, his. I prefer sir,” said Eli Williams, a transgender patient.

Williams met Dr. Susan Lacy years ago. 

“I actually started seeing her two years ago and a few days, so that’s about 733 days ago. It sounds cooler that way,” said Williams. 

Wanting to transition from female to male, Eli was ready for hormone treatment. Dr. Lacy is one of few Memphis doctors treating transgender patients. 

“That’s really exciting and enjoyable to be able to provide that service. That’s the other facet about being modern. Try to think about what do people need and what are their gaps in care,” said Dr. Lacy, an OBGYN

That gap drew patients from all over. 

“We get patients from Alabama, Mississippi, other parts of Tennessee, Arkansas, even places in Missouri that are driving here because they don’t have any other place to go,” said Dr. Lacy. 

She said hormone treatment has its risk. The biggest risk is how patients adjust to the changes. 

“You’ve got to think of it as like a second puberty. The first puberty that you went through and we all remember, it doesn’t happen overnight,” said Dr. Lacy. 

Williams saw changes in his muscles first. Then, his voice began to change. 

“Going through a drive thru lane where nobody can see me and then hearing them say, ‘What do you want sir?’ You called me sir. It’s my voice. Yes,” said Williams. 

The recognition was a difference from previous encounters. 

“Hearing people say the wrong pronoun.They would call me it,” said Williams. “They have opinions, but this opinion is my reality. This is something that I have had to look at in the mirror and with Dr. Lacy’s help, she’s helping my reality actually be visual and be heard to others.”

“In every aspect of medicine, we need to think about people who have different gender identities we may be comfortable with. We need to ask those questions and be prepared for any type of medicine we practice,” said Dr. Lacy. 

She said there is a limited number of doctors providing this treatment to transgender patients in the area. Cisgender, or people who identify with the sex they are born with, can also receive hormone treatment. It is common among patients experiencing menopause.

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