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24 March 2016

Carys Massarella (1965–) physician.

Calum Massarella grew up in Sudbury, Ontario, graduated from the University of Western Ontario in 1990, cum laude, and completed an FRCPC in Emergency Medicine at McMaster University in 1997.

From there Massarella took a position in the emergency department at the associated St Joseph’s Healthcare in Hamilton, Ontario, and became Chief of Emergency Medicine there in 2001. Massarella also married and had two children.

When Massarella was 42, a trans patient suffered a cardiac arrest and died. This brought home to Massarella that he did not want to die as a man, and as Carys she completed transition in 2009, with surgery in the US.

Carys remains an attending Emergency Physician at St. Joseph’s and is the lead Physician for the Transgender Care Program at Quest Community Health Centre in nearby St Catharines. She is President of the Medical Staff Association.
“The biggest obstacle for most transgender individuals is access to medical care,” she says. “In our clinic, we no longer refer patients to psychiatrists. Being transgender is not a pathology. Gender dysphoria is not a psychiatric illness.”
“What I always tell people is, you’re always going to have a transgender identity. That’s never going to change. Whether or not you transition, that’s a personal decision. But at the end of the day, the vast, vast majority of people do better after they transition, or they feel better after they transition.”
“I must say, my American colleagues…every time I tell them I did this at a Catholic hospital they are like ‘no you didn’t’ and I’m like ‘yes I did.” 

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