Transgender doctor hopes to help others

Med school transgender graduate hopes to help others

This is the story of a brand new doctor who graduated from med school last month.

Dee Weitzer is from New Jersey, but completed a plastic surgery rotation here in Cleveland. But far more challenging than a clinical rotation or stress from exams, is what Dee went through along the way.

The physical and psychological transformation from man to woman.

"I am a transgender woman. I used to be a guy. My name was Daniel."

Daniel was born a triplet with two sisters. But the little boy knew early on that he was born in the wrong body.  

"I think I started having symptoms of gender identity disorder when I was 3 or 4. I was playing with dolls. There are pictures of me as a little boy wearing make-up and jewelry." 

"I tried to hard to be a guy. I tried really hard."

At age six, Dee was diagnosed with gender identity disorder. "I think my parents were a little bit confused, but I think they did the right thing by taking me to see a therapist," Dee reflected. 

"Unfortunately, as I got older things only kinda started to get harder because everybody thought I would just outgrow it."

Dee lived as a man through college, but began taking hormone therapy before starting medical school. On her first day, Dee declared her name as 'Danielle,' but Dee for short, and began living as a woman. 

"I thought the right time to transition was when I officially got that acceptance, then I knew i was in medical school. I had a good career path going," she says. 

Dee was set on surgical alterations to make her transition complete. She found a local plastic surgeon willing to perform the surgeries to complete her transformation. All seven of the procedures took place at once by one surgeon, something Dee now realizes was a mistake. 

"My genitals don't work, my nose doesn't work, my forehead doesn't move," she told WKYC Channel 3's Monica Robins. 

Dee recently had another surgery to correct her nose and improve her breathing. She also just started her residency, but one day hopes to become a psychiatrist, specializing in the unique issues facing the transgendered, including the ramifications of a transition failure. 

She hopes her story educates others to research every aspect of their decision. 

Dee tells Monica another goal of hers is to advocate transgender surgery coverage to insurance companies.

She did not have her plastic surgery here in Cleveland, but had it out of state. Her family has remained supportive throughout the process. 

© 2017 WKYC-TV


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