Primary Care Providers

A primary care provider (PCP) is your main health care provider in non-emergency situations. They perform your routine check ups, identify and treat common medical conditions, and make referrals as needed. Your PCP could be a General Practitioner (GP), Nurse Practitioner (NP), or Family Physician.

Role of primary care providers

Trans people often have unique health needs, but for most part they are not medically complex.

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With a willingness to learn, your local PCP can work with you to ensure your health needs are met. For example, primary care providers can:

    • Assist you with exploring  options for gender affirmation
    • Complete forms or letters required for a change of gender
    • Assess for readiness for hormone therapy or refer to someone who can.
    • Prescribe hormone therapy or refer to someone who can.
    • Monitor your hormone therapy
    • Complete surgical readiness assessments (if qualified) or refer to someone who can.
    • Refer for gender-affirming surgery and assist with post-operative care as needed.
    • Support you emotionally and suggest community resources

Not all health care providers feel comfortable initiating hormone therapy, and may require a letter from another clinician before writing you a prescription. We hope that as more clinicians learn about trans health this will occur less frequently. If your PCP has questions about trans health care, support is available to them through the Rapid Access to Consultative Expertise Line that they can call to receive consultation from a doctor with trans health expertise or by connecting with Trans Care BC at 1-866-999-1514.

Please note, at this time, nurse practitioners cannot prescribe testosterone.

Services for people living in the VCH region

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If you are a trans or gender diverse person living in the Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) Region (Vancouver, Richmond, North Shore, and Coastal/Rural), you may be able to access full service primary health care through Threes Bridges Community Health Centre or Ravensong Community Health Centre. Please review their websites (Three Bridges and Ravensong) for full details of VCH’s primary care mandate.

 

For more information on accessing Trans Specialty Care, please visit their website.

More services

Several health care providers in the Lower Mainland who aren’t affiliated with VCH also provide gender-affirming care. For more information, Contact Us.

Youth services

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The primary care providers at Three Bridges Youth Clinic are experienced in providing general gender-affirming care, however; hormone or surgical readiness assessments are not provided in youth clinic. You must go through the Trans Specialty Care Program and meet their eligibility criteria to access medical transition support through VCH.

Services outside the Vancouver Coastal Health Region

Most regional health authorities in British Columbia do not have a formal system in place for trans and gender diverse primary care.

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You can search the BC College of Physicians and Surgeons website for PCPs accepting patients in your area. Contact their office to see if they have experience in trans health care, or a willingness to learn. You can also contact us for recommendations of a gender-affirming PCP in your area.

If you find a primary care provider who is willing to support you but needs assistance, you can:

    • Suggest that they read the WPATH Standards of Care to educate themselves.
    • Direct them to Health Professionals section of the Trans Care BC website.
    • Encourage them to contact us for information about upcoming training sessions on providing gender-affirming care.