HYDERABAD: Ruth John Koyyala, a 29-year-old from Telangana, has scripted a first by qualifying for a postgraduate degree in medicine under the transgender category. The doctor’s perseverance and determination led her to secure a seat in emergency medicine at ESI Hospital, Sanathnagar, after navigating a rigorous two-year legal battle to assert her rights.
The achievement not only shatters the glass ceiling but also challenges stereotypes surrounding transgender people, Ruth told TOI on Tuesday. Recounting an arduous journey of knocking on numerous doors, submitting over 20 representations to various departments and ministers, she said she finally received acknowledgment from the Telangana high court.
“The high court heard my plea to reserve a seat for transgender people in NEET PG counselling,” said Ruth, who is a member of a scheduled caste family originally from Khammam. She is currently serving as a medical officer at Osmania General Hospital in Hyderabad.

Times view

Transgenders are often socially discriminated against and treated with a mix of derision and contempt. Individuals like Koyyala bust stereotypes about the community. She is a pathbreaker and a role model who deserves to be felicitated.

While other transgender doctors in India have pursued postgraduate degrees in medicine, they typically secured enrolment either on a male/female seat or under the management quota.
Ruth wants to become a gynaecologist
While other transgender doctors in India have pursued postgraduate degrees in medicine, they typically secured enrolment either on a male/female seat or under the management quota. In contrast, Ruth opted not to follow these paths – underscoring her commitment to her identity and the fight for equitable representation.
Despite being eligible for NEET PG admission in 2022, she declined the offer as the seat was designated for her as female. Ruth had applied under the transgender category, but faced hurdles because of the lack of reservation for trans-people in Telangana at the time, contrary to the Supreme Court’s NALSA case judgment of 2014.
In June 2023, the Telangana high court intervened by issuing interim orders to establish provisions allowing Ruth to apply under the transgender category.
“My dream is to become a gynaecologist as I want to serve my community members, many of whom avoid seeking medical care during and after their gender transition,” she said.


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