Gender Dysphoria in the Military

Citation:

Ford, Shannon, and Carla Schnitzlein. 2017. "Gender Dysphoria in the Military." Current Psychiatry Reports 19 (12): 102.

Authors: Shannon Ford, Carla Schnitzlein

Abstract:

Purpose of Review: With the announcement that members of the military who identify as transgender are allowed to serve openly, the need for Department of Defense behavioral health providers to be comfortable in the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of this population becomes quickly evident. This population has been seeking care in the community and standards have been developed to help guide decision-making, but a comparable document does not exist for the military population.
 
Recent Findings: Previously published papers were written in anticipation of the policy allowing for open service. The civilian sector has treatment guidelines and evidence supporting the same for reference. There is no similar document for the military population, likely due to the recent change and ongoing development. This paper attempts to provide an overview of the recent Department of Defense policy and walks the reader through key considerations when providing care to a transgender member of the military as it relates to those who are currently serving in the military through the use of a case example.
 
Summary: The military transgender population faces some unique challenges due to the need to balance readiness and deployability with medically necessary health care. Also complicating patient care is that policy development is ongoing—as of this publication, the decision has not yet been made regarding how people who identify as transgender will access into the military nor is there final approval regarding coverage for surgical procedures. Unique circumstances of this population are brought up to generate more discussion and encourage further evaluation and refinement of the process.

Keywords: Transgender, gender dysphoria, military, veteran, LGBT, mental health, open service

Topics: Gender, Health, Mental Health, LGBTQ, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries Regions: Americas, North America Countries: United States of America

Year: 2017

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