UK’s First Transsexual Doctor Under Investigation

Jan 7, 2013
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Britain’s first transsexual doctor is under investigation following complaints that he provided inappropriate treatment to patients wishing to change gender.

Dr Richard Curtis, who was born Vanda Zadorozny, but had a sex change in 2005, is being investigated by the General Medical Council, after at least three separate complaints.

The London-based GP is accused of prescribing sex change hormones “to several patients” that were not appropriate and also ignoring restrictions placed on his practice.

In one case reportedly under investigation by the GMC, the doctors’ regulator, a woman complained she regretted undergoing treatment, which included having a double mastectomy and taking hormones.

In another case, it was alleged Dr Curtis prescribed sex change drugs to patients under 18, without the specialist knowledge or skills to do so.

It is alleged that Dr Curtis, who provides private treatment to patients pursuing “gender reassignment”, failed to follow accepted standards of care.

It is also claimed his practice, located in Marylebone, central London, breached conditions required by the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS), the GMC’s arm’s-length disciplinary body.

In November 2011 the MPTS imposed a number of restrictions on Dr Curtis’s practice. Two months later the conditions placed on Dr Curtis were extended until May this year.

The restrictions, which were upheld by another hearing in December, are due to remain in place pending the outcome of the GMC investigation.

If it is decided there is a case to answer, the investigation will be returned to the MPTS, which will then convene a fitness-to-practise hearing, the Guardian reported.

Dr Curtis, who is believed to live in Richmond, south-west London, qualified in 1991 from St Bartholomew’s Medical College and became a GP in 1995.

He took over the London Gender Clinic five years ago and boasts “substantial expertise in helping people with gender dysphoria seeking to undergo gender reassignment achieve the best outcome throughout the course of their journey”.

According to his practice’s website, he has a “deep understanding of [a] patient’s needs” and his “substantial expertise” meant he had a “personable, relaxed, non-judgmental approach”.

Dr Curtis was born a woman but described himself as feeling like a “gay man trapped in a woman’s body”.

Dr Richard Curtis

Dr Richard Curtis

The miner’s daughter, originally from Pontefract, West Yorks, underwent two years of gender specific counseling before deciding to have a sex change in 2005.

Dr Curtis became the first post-operative transsexual to be recognized by the GMC under the Gender Recognition Act, which came into force in April that year.

A GP at the time, he said his patients were “very supportive” of his decision, which included a £7,000 hysterectomy and a double mastectomy.

He said: “Because I had been dressing quite androgynously for some time, 99.9 per cent of them didn’t even comment. One asked me if I’d had a haircut.”

The doctor, a member of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH), formerly known as the Harry Benjamin International Gender Dysphoria Association, could not be reached for comment last night.

A spokesman for the Medical Defense Union, which is representing Dr Curtis, said he was unable to comment on any of the allegations “because of the ongoing investigation and his duty of patient confidentiality”.

She added: “He has no further comment to make.”

Last night, James Caspian, a counselor at his practice, declined to comment, when contacted by The Daily Telegraph.

He said: “I am sorry I can’t talk to you”, before abruptly hanging up the phone.

A GMC spokesman was unavailable for comment.

By Martin Evans and Andrew Hough


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