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

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 can access specialized gender-affirming primary health care through two Trans Specialty Care clinics in Vancouver: Three Bridges Clinic and Raven Song Clinic.

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To access Trans Specialty Care, call the intake nurse at (604) 633-4248 and leave a message. Let the nurse know if it is okay to leave you a return voice message. The nurse will identify the clinic that is able to see you, and provide you with a date and time for an initial consultation appointment.

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.

VCH services for people living outside the region

If you live outside the VCH Region, you may be able to access Trans Specialty Care if you:

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    • Are a youth (ages 24 and under)
    • Are a refugee claimant
    • Have complex mental health issues
    • Have post‐operative complications from gender-affirming surgery

Youth services

Youth ages 24 and under, from anywhere in the province, can access the Three Bridges Youth Clinic Drop-In, at 1292 Hornby Street in Vancouver from Monday to Friday between 4pm and 8pm (except holidays). The PCP’s at Three Bridges are experienced in providing gender-affirming care.

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.
    • Encourage them to contact us for information about upcoming training sessions on providing gender-affirming care.