Blog posts by Brittany Allen, MD

Transgender Rights: The (bath)Room Where It Happens

Suffice it to say that bathrooms have recently leapt into the spotlight. The past several years have brought controversy to restrooms through a number of bills written to regulate who accesses bathrooms labeled for men or women. These bills have seemed to specifically target transgender people, often including legislation that requires that people use the bathroom that would align with the sex that they were assigned at birth. (If you’re not clear on terminology related to gender identity, like transgender or cisgender, check out our previous post with some introductory information.) It’s certainly not a new issue; as transwoman and transgender rights activist, Laverne Cox, stated, “Trans people have been going to the bathroom for a very long time.” To catch you up, we’ll start by going over a brief history of recent legislation and federal guidelines, then discuss some of the arguments raised in this debate.

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Going for the Gold?

Sport SpecializationI was going to write about a completely different topic for this week’s post, but I just saw an incredible presentation about sport specialization by UW’s own Alison Brooks, MD, MPH, and I can’t stop thinking about it. Dr. Brooks was presenting research about whether sport specialization – when an athlete focuses on one sport, usually throughout the year and at the exclusion of participation in other sports – is a healthy and effective way to help youth achieve their athletic goals. In other words, does someone who wants to play in the WNBA have to play in a year-round basketball league before high school (or even middle school)?

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Dorm Room First Aid: Packing For Your Health

Dorm Room First AidWe know there are very few things more overwhelming than packing up your whole life to move into a really tiny college dorm or apartment. What do you bring with you? What sounds like a great idea to pack now, but will just end up unused and taking up precious space? How many forgotten items will your parents be willing to ship before you go home for Thanksgiving?

Today, we’re going to make this process easier by compiling the following list of important medical items so you can spend less time inside your school’s health center and more time experiencing all that college has to offer. Because – let’s face it – some sort of illness, scrape, or injury is inevitable, and it’s better to be prepared than to be scrambling to find a pharmacy store when your final paper is due in 45 minutes.

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Transition, Part III: For Teens with Complex Medical Conditions

Teen Health TransitionWelcome back!  As you know, we’ve been exploring transition, or the process of getting ready for medical care as an adult.  We’ve talked about what transition is and why it is important as well as the general steps in transition.  As you can imagine, the general timeline applies to most teens, but can be much more complicated in youth that have complex medical needs.  Some of this complexity can come from the number of providers involved (which can be many) or may relate to differences in intellectual ability that make it important to discuss things like whether another adult should be involved in helping the young adult make decisions after the age of 18.  In our final post in this series, we’re going to explore some of these additional considerations, so that the transition process can be as smooth as possible for all teens.

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