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OpheliaDL

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Dec 30, 2016
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Hey Everyone,

I'm a male to female third year undergrad student and hope to become a dental student and later on, a dentist. I am creating this thread because I can't find anything on how transgender dental students/dentists are treated and it has been causing me stress lately. I've worked very hard (I'm sure all of us have) to get to this point and it's been my dream since I was a kid to become a dentist. So my main issue is, will I face a lot of discrimination as a dental student or dentist? I'm worried that future practice won't prosper because of this. I have not transitioned yet, though I am told I am feminine - I plan on transitioning after dental school, as I won't be able to pay for surgeries or anything until after I get a job. Is there any other trans dental students or dentists that can provide their experience on this matter, or maybe you know someone who has.

Thank you for listening
 
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Dr5paceman

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btw some schools cover transition related surgeries through their student insurance, worth looking into
 
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Scumbag_Steve

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Hey Everyone,

I'm a male to female third year undergrad student and hope to become a dental student and later on, a dentist. I am creating this thread because I can't find anything on how transgender dental students/dentists are treated and it has been causing me stress lately. I've worked very hard (I'm sure all of us have) to get to this point and it's been my dream since I was a kid to become a dentist. So my main issue is, will I face a lot of discrimination as a dental student or dentist? I'm worried that future practice won't prosper because of this. I have not transitioned yet, though I am told I am feminine - I plan on transitioning after dental school, as I won't be able to pay for surgeries or anything until after I get a job. Is there any other trans dental students or dentists that can provide their experience on this matter, or maybe you know someone who has.

Thank you for listening
I believe there are forums for trans pre-med/med students on sdn that might be worth looking into. I bet their experiences are relatable and will give you good insight into what it will be like. I don't want to go too far down the road of debating people as to which places would be more accommodating environments, but schools in more socially progressive locations would decrease the likelihood of you having to deal with an unpleasant environment, although it definitely wouldn't eliminate the likelihood entirely.

I know if you were in my class mostly everyone would be outwardly supportive, and nobody would be outwardly hostile.

While I can't really offer any advice because I don't know what you're going through, I just want to say good luck and don't let anyone make you feel anything but confident in yourself and comfortable in your own skin!
 
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Endeross

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You'll face discrimination in any role you take as a transgender person. Its sadly part of current society. Best of luck to you. It's a tough world to be gay/bi/trans/insert less common race or religion here. Do your best to swing the changes and hardships to your advantage in your personal statements to dental school and show how its made you a better person.

Sorry I don't know anyone specifically with your issue. Just dropping the sad truth on you.
 

Faefly

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I think it depends on how open the place you go to, it depends on how liberal the college is and where you live. I hope you won't encounter discrimination, but it's possible to meet many great people, and amid of all these great people there are 2 or 3 who will give you a hard time.
 

WaveRace

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I agree with the above sentiments. You, being transgender, know what discrimination to expect from people. That's not going to change just because you are pursuing a doctorate. Regardless of whether you're pre-dental, in dental school, or practicing dentistry, you're going to come across difficulties just because of how our society is. If I were you, I would certainly choose a school in a more liberal city, and would avoid religious schools. Same goes for settling down and practicing: if you're trying to post up in a rural town, you're going to deal with a lot compared to if you practice somewhere liberal.

Build a good support system and pursue your dreams. Best of luck to you.
 
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WheatLom

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As a dentist you actually could be very beneficial to the trans and homosexual community. You can be a dentist they can go to and feel comfortable with. In regards to medical professions, people should feel comfortable seeing any type of doctor. I think you have a good mind and heart for pursuing your dreams. I think you can be not just successful in practice, but very successful in the community as well!! I think you could make a strong impact as a trans dentist.

This is also a good thing to bring up during interviews if you have concerns.


Best wishes and good luck!!!
 
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OpheliaDL

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Hey guys,

Thank you for all the support and honesty, I really appreciate it! This really put things into perspective and i feel much better about dentistry as a career choice. I can't thank you guys enough!
 
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OpheliaDL

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Also about the surgeries, I'm actually a canadian so all "essential" surgeries are covered here (such as the downstairs surgery), which I will not be undertaking. I will mostly only undergo FFS, which is not covered anyway as it is essentially cosmetic. I think a lot of my stress comes from the fact that i will still have some male features (such as an adam's apple) when I begin to practice and I will not change my documentation and pronouns to she until I'm done all my surgeries. So I'm sort of stressed that when I change my name and gender officially, my patients would be confused or downright disgusted that I went from a he to a she.
 

morning92

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So I'm sort of stressed that when I change my name and gender officially, my patients would be confused or downright disgusted that I went from a he to a she.
If your patients give you grief about that, then they are patients not worth retaining. A good patient won't care about anything so long as you're friendly, listen to their concerns, and provide competent care.

Dentistry is a largely thankless job and you will, at some point in time, encounter a person who seems to have a singular goal of making you miserable. This will happen to everyone. And you'll have to do what every other dentist has to do in that case: politely let the patient know that you don't think you can provide care for them, offer to transfer their records to their new dentist, and provide emergency care for the required number of months after dismissal.
 

Endeross

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If your patients give you grief about that, then they are patients not worth retaining. A good patient won't care about anything so long as you're friendly, listen to their concerns, and provide competent care.

Dentistry is a largely thankless job and you will, at some point in time, encounter a person who seems to have a singular goal of making you miserable. This will happen to everyone. And you'll have to do what every other dentist has to do in that case: politely let the patient know that you don't think you can provide care for them, offer to transfer their records to their new dentist, and provide emergency care for the required number of months after dismissal.
Thats all well and easy to say but if it hits your bottom line it really can suck. I'd advise going through hormone therapy and change stuff before practicing, you have years before that to do so. And again, go to a liberal city. Life will be better there for you. Best of luck!
 
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OpheliaDL

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I would become a she in a heartbeat if it was up to me, I would love to undergo HRT through school (and I probably will) but I'll technically still be a guy when I (hopefully) graduate dental school - mostly for the acceptance of my close-minded parents and can only truly transition once I can financially support myself after I graduate, hence the concern.
 

Μοlar Βear

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In this day and age, you should be fine. I second the idea to work somewhere liberal if you have any concerns.
 

OpheliaDL

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Thank you guys for the support! I am Canadian and it's generally accepted here, though of course there are many who disagree with my lifestyle, this isn't a political argument or anything of the sort. I do know that on a general basis, Americans are (slightly) less accepting and yes it is a part of my life, but if a few members of the acceptance committee are low-key transphobic, I'm sure they'll do anything they can to make sure I won't get an interview. So I most likely won't say anything. Another thing, my voice is naturally high pitched and I'm very feminine, do you think the interviewers would have any issues? Thank you
 

dr.d00m

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Another thing, my voice is naturally high pitched and I'm very feminine, do you think the interviewers would have any issues? Thank you

Just be yourself and act naturally, don't worry about what others will think of you. If interviewers at a certain school have a problem with your demeanor and give you a hard time, then you probably wouldn't want to go to that school anyway
 
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Astatedental

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I didn't get a chance to read every ones response, but here is my response to what all I've read. My advice is to embrace your situation to the fullest. at my college ( university of tenn. Memphis) I noticed a few transgender individuals while I toured the campus. The school not only loves diversity but is actively looking for it in order to give students things to talk about. Our school is a team and I'd like to hope other schools are like this as well. The college aims to get students that are not only highly intelligent, but highly ethical. With that being said I think you will be fully accepted by your peers in school. If other students don't agree with their schools I recommend applying to menphis, and that you make your situation public in your personal statement and in your interview. They want diversity they want different. Also in regards to patients, embrace this... Start a practice in a gay/transgender/bi community and market that your transgender. That community will flood your doors because they will find comfort with you and the ignorant people that have issue with your situation will stay away. Hell you'll be a millionaire with in a few years! Embrace it be yourself and you'll succeed :)
 
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