SHORT PUMP, Virginia — Doctors say there is a “perverse” monetary incentive structure built around pushing “transgender” drugs and surgeries on children.
Breitbart News sat down with two Richmond-area physicians — a neurologist and a pediatrician — to discuss left-wing movements in the practice of medicine. Both spoke on the condition of anonymity so as to not face professional backlash.
“There are big bucks in medicine,” the neurologist said at a private lecture to around 130 doctors and medical professionals near Richmond, Virginia, hosted by the medical advocacy group Do No Harm. “I think that the dollar incentive is hard to get around.”
As Breitbart News has reported, there is a significant difference between how western Europe and the United States treats children with gender dysphoria.
While the American medical establishment is pushing heavily for the “affirmation” model — which includes prescribing puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and mutilation surgeries to children — European countries have sounded the alarm on how harmful such a model is for children.
While there is an ideological component in America — that some doctors at the lecture told Breitbart News was initially exported to Europe, not imported from Europe — the monetary incentive structures set up are potent motivations as well.
“If you’re running a gender dysphoria clinic in the U.K. or France, you’re not going to be getting paid $5,000 for each surgery,” the neurologist explained, noting the differences between the American capitalism-oriented healthcare system and the socialized European one. “The fact that the model is different is why the Europeans are able to be honest about the situation.”
The doctor was not advocating for socialized medicine, but rather pointing out a significant moral setback that can be present in the American system.
“When you talk about some of these invasive surgeries, you have to be careful to acknowledge that there are entities making a lot of money on the surgery,” he said.
Despite the dubiousness of the “gender affirmation” model, professional medical associations such as the American Medical Association (AMA) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) — among many others — still push doctors and patients to pursue it.
The issue is that “it’s not overwhelmingly accepted among the rank and file,” the pediatrician said.
“Most pediatricians are very uncomfortable that children are not mature enough at 12, 13, 14 [years old] to make decisions to pursue body-altering treatments,” he continued. “There probably are some, but that makes all of us very uncomfortable.”
The neurologist explained that the “transgender” issue came in a “movement from the left coast to the east coast celebrating LGBTQ.”
“It didn’t just acknowledge it. It didn’t just accept it. It celebrated it,” he said. “The transgender people have kind of piled on.”
The movement has attacked the family unit and “taken advantage” of poor family structures to gain legitimacy.
“The vast majority of people would like to see a family unit, and they would like to see a family and parents involved in that child’s difficult transition or treatment,” the neurologist continued.
He called out Johns Hopkins specifically for “signing up kids for permanent surgeries for gender identity issues that are not appropriate.”
“At what point in the child’s development are you really able to say that they have an irreversible gender dysphoria that deserves an invasive treatment?” he asked, rhetorically. “The kids that are harmed are the kids who were not clearly, fully, accurately diagnosed, and then, they wind up at 18 or 20 [years old] mutilated, and their lives are really destroyed.”
“That can be avoided by not celebrating and pushing kids into invasive things too early,” he said.
Both doctors described the AMA, AAP, and other professional societies as being “very much dominated by academicians.”
“I am no longer an AMA member because I saw the leadership of the AMA flipped from being a mainline, somewhat conservative group that supported patients to a very liberal organization that is pretty much on the left side of government and pushing a lot of these things,” the neurologist said.
The pediatrician explained that these organizations are supposed to be on the “forefront of breakthrough treatments [and] new modes of therapy.”
The “transgender” issue is not the only radical change in the administration of health care in America, however. There has also been a new racialized focus coming from the country’s medical schools and professional organizations.
The push for Critical Race Theory-style reforms in the medical field has been prominent in recent years.
“It’s driven by the higher ed system, not just the medical side, but the academic side, which is very strongly out there for the woke movement, and DEI, and BLM,” the neurologist said.
One manifestation is in the medical school admissions process, which often requires applicants to capitulate to advocating for antiracism and diversity, equity, and inclusion, as well as institute racial quotas for admission.
“With medicine, we want the best and the brightest,” the pediatrician said. “Medicine, more than any profession, should be a meritocracy.”
He said he knows many young people who have a “very difficult time getting into medical school, and the idea that the decision would be made based solely on ethnicity is very disturbing.”
Medicine has historically “rewarded hard work” and “accomplishments,” the neurologist said, adding that patients expect a doctor who is “well-trained and very competent.”
“I treat everybody. I work in the free clinic. I have been involved in health care my whole life,” he continued. “I’m understanding and respectful of the societal issues that we have. But to go and burn down the whole medical education community to try to accomplish some very far-left-sided, liberal goals is not in the best interest.”
As far as medical students having to submit essays about their commitment to the ideology, the pediatrician expects that “the kids will play the game.”
“I’m sure there are many applicants who don’t buy into that at all but will write a letter just because, ‘I don’t want to get, you know, I don’t want to create a firestorm. I don’t want to ruin my future and not get into medical school,’” he said. “It’s like the college course, where you have a leftist professor, where you keep your mouth shut the whole semester.”
Breccan F. Thies is a reporter for Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter @BreccanFThies.