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 If physicians have any worth to society, it ought to begin with their telling the truth.  Some of you have read my repeated claim that health care is a thoroughly dishonest industry, and it is.  Our profession is guilty of allowing that corruption to infect and direct us.

An old friend of mine who works in an unnamed corporate hospital ED somewhere else sent me this screen shot of their latest patient check-in screen.  The very offering of a “third gender” is obscene in its dishonesty, which already co-opts the bleary-eyed clinician staring at this EHR.  Physicians gave the corporations (and soon, government) cover by not forcefully rejecting trans/non-binary definitions of fashion from the outset. 

Physicians have the obligation to be courteous and compassionate, but we also have the duty to be honest.  We do not buy into the anorexic’s self-view that they weigh 300 lb., merely to protect their feelings.  From the AAFP running cover stories on “trans” care  to unethical surgeons performing elective mutilations for psychiatric conditions, to clinicians starting to adopt a language and mindset contrary to objective reality, we are failing in that duty.  

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