Jack Pula, MD, instructor of clinical psychiatry and chairperson of the Transgender Committee of the Association of Gay and Lesbian Psychiatrists says he would like to create a network of psychiatrists and residents of all gender identities who are interested in changing the curricula of medical schools and residency programs nationwide to include training in transgender issues.
In the medical and psychiatric community, he explains, doctors still tend to think that transgender people are ill, “that they are by definition psychotic or personality disordered. They have not learned about transgender people who live healthy, well-adapted lives.
These assumptions have led Pula to want to change the way psychiatric residents are trained. He is heartened by the openness of resident psychiatrists on his service and sees their attitude as the wave of the future in medicine.
“Most people here at the medical center want to understand and do the right thing. Our university medical center is growing and adapting towards inclusivity and greater competence, and that is truly wonderful.”
Having received good support so far in his efforts as committee chairperson, Pula is optimistic that residency training programs can change.