Frequently, medical care for intersex patients is focused on childhood surgeries; care of intersex adults exists as an afterthought, if at all.

Kimberly Zieselman, the Executive Director at interACT: Advocates for Intersex Youth, writes about the needs of intersex patients and the way they are currently treated by medical professionals. She points out that many care providers have little knowledge about what it means to be intersex and that too often it becomes the patient’s duty to inform their doctors; outside of specialties like pediatric endocrinology and urology, providers receive very little intersex-specific medical training.

Zieselman discusses the reasons why some members of the intersex community are distrustful of medical professionals, including poor past experiences and the practice of attempting to “fix” intersex babies through surgical intervention. She urges health care providers to learn more about intersex issues, to reach out to intersex advocates, and to acknowledge the issues that may have caused intersex patients to lose trust in the medical field. Zieselman concludes that, overall, “what intersex people want from the medical community is for physicians to listen to us.”

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