- About Dr. O'Dea
- Offering a unique, progressive approach to Transgender Care (TransCare)
- What do we do?
- Whom do we treat?
- Who are these people whom we treat?
- What is an endocrinologist?
- What is our team?
- Where are we located?
About Dr. O'Deatop
John O’Dea was born in Ireland, raised and educated in Dublin where he received his undergraduate and medical education at University College Dublin. Moving to the US he served an internship and residency in Internal Medicine at St. Luke’s Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio, followed by full training in Endocrinology and Metabolism through an NIH fellowship involving clinical and research training at the University Hospitals Group at Case Western Reserve University. He then moved to Los Angeles where he has since been in private practice. O’Dea has been married since 1974 and loves classical music, opera, the care and feeding of African cichlids and has long been fascinated by Asian philosophy, particularly Classical Taoism and Mahayana Buddhism.
Some twenty years ago Dr. O’Dea encountered a wonderful woman, a clinical psychologist of brilliance, integrity and sympathy who was specialized in the psychology of the transgendered patient. She invited him into the transgender field, expressing dissatisfaction with the status quo and requesting a new and innovative approach. She knew him as a trail-blazer from his work with genetic women. O’Dea even then felt that women were often short-changed by the prevailing system of traditional medicine. Women’s medicine was simplistic, painting linear pictures of a complex reality, worshipping structure while ignoring systems and dynamic processes. And when it didn’t have the answers it told these women it was all in their heads and too often dismissed them with arbitrary labels, frequently pejorative and psychiatric.
To O’Dea the answers to many of these problems were often hormonal. It became obvious to him that the body’s steroid hormones (coming from the adrenal glands and the sexual organs) were far more powerful than had ever been assumed. These potent chemicals despite their miniscule presence, had a massive impact on the body at large and particularly on the brain, acting as the glue that bound mind to body and body to mind, an effect not only operating over the long term to, for example, gradually alter breast size, but also from moment to fleeting moment. These chemicals didn’t just color the backdrop, they figured into every little piece of the action.
O’Dea began to apply these insights and sophisticated methods to the treatment of transgendered patients as well and out of his experiences developed his own unique methods for the M2F and the F2M transgendered patients. “We don’t treat transsexuals he says, we treat people”.
Offering a unique, progressive approach to Transgender Care (TransCare)top We believe that feminization should start from the inside and work its way outward. This means that if you want a truly feminine body, you must build it out of feminine building blocks. It means feminizing the body’s individual cells at the microscopic level instead of throwing an ineffective coat of superficial feminine paint over the body at the macro level. Femininity cannot be put on and taken off like an overcoat. Only hormones have the power to feminize the entire body and they can and will do so to great effect, given enough time, if administered correctly. We call this “Fractal Femininity”.
What do we do?top We do not treat transsexuals, we treat people. We help transgendered persons to achieve their desires in the safest yet most natural and effective manner on a timetable that lets you the consumer, call the shots, and we don’t tell you what your desires must be, or insist that you get someone’s permission in order to satisfy them. We do not expect you to jump through expensive bureaucratic hoops only to then turn round and give you dangerous oral estrogens, with all of their special problems, problems that simply do not occur using the right kinds of hormones. Instead we realize that risk and potency do not run hand in hand; and that traditional hormonal products such as horse estrogens, when taken by mouth, despite being old-fashioned and conventional, are far more risky than modern, non-oral estrogens.
Whom do we treat?top We treat people, individuals who have diagnosed themselves, since only they are capable of doing so. They now identify as transsexuals, but transgender labels, which are so often used to pigeonhole or categorize people, frequently so as to abuse or exploit them, should not be used to control our patients. Instead these labels should serve only to guide and facilitate medical and surgical decision making and action. Thus we at the O’Dea Medical Hormone Center do not treat transsexuality; we treat people, people who have discovered that they need to become feminized. And even the concept of feminization is not as simple as it sounds. Is it really feminization that you seek, or is it instead the elimination of a hostile, upsetting, self-destructive masculinity that hardens both brain and mind? Just remember that when estrogen is added to a test tube, it raises the levels of estrogen in the tube, and that is all. In contrast when estrogen is added to the living body not only do estrogen levels rise, but testosterone levels fall as the added estrogen inhibits testicular function. In other words when feminizing hormones are added to the human body at the right dose and in an unremitting manner they not only feminize but also inevitably demasculinize it.
Who are these people whom we treat?top We treat all kinds of people, in all of their complexity, young or old, tops or bottoms, those attracted to males or attracted to females, those attracted to either or to neither, those who wish to retain penile function or those who wish it would go away. We treat people who identify as transsexuals, as gender dysphorics, as she-males, as M2Fs or F2Ms, on their terms, with flexibility and without reservation.
What is an endocrinologist?top Endocrinology is a subspecialty of internal medicine dealing with the science of hormones. It is a very precise, quantitative specialty because hormones can be measured with exquisite precision and their actions are exquisitely precise. An endocrinologist is a physician with particular training in endocrinology including an endocrinology fellowship. There are many individuals out there of late, both doctors and laypersons who practice endocrinology without license or training, on the assumption that reading a few books or articles can give them expertise, but the fact of the matter is that endocrinology is exceedingly complex. To illustrate for example, let’s look at something basic, the very definition of hormones themselves. Most people think of hormones as “chemical messengers” but this simply isn’t true. Hormones do not carry messages, they are chemical switchers, switching their receptors on or off, and they do so in a manner that is not chemical but physical. In other words rather than acting upon their target cells in a chemical manner, they dock physically with matching hormone receptors situated on the surface of or within the substance of these target cells.
What is our team?top Our TransCare team is a group of qualified professionals including Dr. John O’Dea who designed and supervises hormonal delivery. We also provide expert PhD level psychological services that facilitate instead of controlling our patients and which focuses especially on their conflicts which can be significant. We collaborate with Dr. Joel Beck and Dr. Marcie Bowers in the San Francisco area in an attempt to provide a center of excellence and continually try to improve our services.
Where are we located?top At this time we have locations in the Los Angeles and San Francisco areas but other locations will follow. The Los Angeles location currently situated in Marina Del Rey. When in San Francisco we operate out of San Mateo (see Dr. Beck’s website for location) about fifteen minutes south of San Francisco airport, close to the junction of the 101 and the 92 freeways.