After three years of effort, Catherine Casey, MD, an associate professor in the Department of Family Medicine, has completed certification to become a World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) Certified Member. The WPATH certification process is extensive and involves: a 15 hour Foundations Course; additional advanced coursework; 10 hours of electives; 5 listening hours to voices of the transgender and gender non-binary communities; 10 hours of mentorship with a WPATH GEI SOC7 Certified Mentor; and successful completion of the certification exam. It is particularly noteworthy that Dr. Casey is the only WPATH Certified Physician in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Dr. Casey chose to pursue this certification in case the legitimacy of the UVA Adult Gender Medicine Clinic is ever called into question. It is an unfortunate reality that gender affirming health programs have become a favorite target of right wing politicians and media posters. This is lifesaving work. The suicide attempt rate among transgender adults is 43%, and among youth 50%. To her knowledge, UVA’s program of roughly 1500+ patients has lost only one patient.