Check, Please!

Here’s why this much-memed medical checklist is actually a great idea

Most medical intake forms only have a simple checklist for gender: M, W, or other. Not exactly comprehensive in a post-binary world. But a different kind of medical intake form just went viral, and it’s delivering on both humor and health.

Rather than asking for a patient’s sex and leaving it at that, the checklist tells them to “select all body parts you have today,” then check as many or as few as they need to from this list: breasts, cervix, uterus, ovaries, vagina, penis, prostate, and testes.

When the checklist hit social media, folks were quick to latch on to the word “today.” No, organs aren’t liable to disappear or materialize overnight — but in some cases, the answer could change day to day (depending on if you’ve had surgery or are undergoing hormone therapy).

Others were delighted at testing the capabilities of the checklist. How would a nurse react to checking every single box? How about leaving them all blank? Or requesting an “other” box and really rattling the medical field?

On a serious note, though, this checklist, also known as an “organ inventory,” is great not only for trans inclusion, but for many cisgender folks, too. Lots of cis women have had their uteri or breasts removed, and some cis men are capable of growing breasts. Being specific about bodies in a medical context can only make healthcare more efficient.

Implementing organ inventories also means assigned genders at birth, or AGABs, would be far less relevant to healthcare, making trips to the doctor more comfortable — and more helpful! — for folks of all genders.

“People often say ‘isn’t AGAB language useful for medicine’ when I argue against using it, and unironically, no, something like this is far more useful,” one user explained. “AGAB is about the past, but the doctor is treating you in the present. They need to know hormone balance and what parts you have.”

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