LGBT / LGBTQI+ Friendly Medical Care

Posted by Ayesha, Alumni Mentor @ayeshasharma, Aug 6, 2019

CW: Sexual assault

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Hi, I’m Ayesha. I wanted to prompt a conversation around LGBTQI+ friendly medical care. It’s common in the LGBTQI+ community to experience discrimination during medical visits, and this can prevent LGBTQI+ people and their families from being able to access the care/check-ups they need.

Discrimination for LGBTQI+ people can include the health care provider (HCP) refusing to see the LGBTQI+ person due to their orientation/identity, the HCP intentionally misgendering the LGBTQI+ patient, the HCP sexually abusing the LGBTQI+ person, and more.

There can be unfortunate consequences of these instances of discrimination, the most obvious of which is that LGBTQI+ patients are deterred from seeking medical care in the first place. From the Center For American Progress:

“…8 percent of all LGBTQ people—and 14 percent of those who had experienced discrimination on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity in the past year—avoided or postponed needed medical care because of disrespect or discrimination from health care staff. Among transgender people, 22 percent reported such avoidance. With regard to preventative screenings, 7 percent of LGBTQ respondents reported avoiding or postponing care in the year prior to the survey, while 17 percent of LGBTQ respondents who had experienced discrimination that year and 19 percent of transgender people reporting avoidance during that period.”

Does anyone in the LGBTQI+ community have anything to share (experiences/comments/concerns/frustrations/rants) regarding discrimination in health care settings?

I noticed there are very few posts here, but I am wondering if there are recommendations on how to find a healthcare provider (HCP) who is LGBTIQ+ friendly and competent when you move to a new area? I moved to Rochester, MN recently and am excited about the potential of great medical care at Mayo facilities, but I want to work with providers who will be welcoming. This is especially important since I'm looking into making appointments with an OB/GYN — my partner and I are looking into family planning options, which will be more complicated since neither of us produce sperm.

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@doslovesdogs21

I noticed there are very few posts here, but I am wondering if there are recommendations on how to find a healthcare provider (HCP) who is LGBTIQ+ friendly and competent when you move to a new area? I moved to Rochester, MN recently and am excited about the potential of great medical care at Mayo facilities, but I want to work with providers who will be welcoming. This is especially important since I'm looking into making appointments with an OB/GYN — my partner and I are looking into family planning options, which will be more complicated since neither of us produce sperm.

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Hi, Welcome to Mayo Connect. I have no first hand experience in this issue, so I have reached out to someone who does. She is reaching out to her wide network of friends and coworkers in an effort to find some suggestions for you, but it might take a few days for her to get back to me…
Sue

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@sueinmn

Hi, Welcome to Mayo Connect. I have no first hand experience in this issue, so I have reached out to someone who does. She is reaching out to her wide network of friends and coworkers in an effort to find some suggestions for you, but it might take a few days for her to get back to me…
Sue

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@sueinmn Thank you so much!! I completely understand that of course it will take time — thank you so much for asking your network on my behalf.

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@doslovesdogs21

I noticed there are very few posts here, but I am wondering if there are recommendations on how to find a healthcare provider (HCP) who is LGBTIQ+ friendly and competent when you move to a new area? I moved to Rochester, MN recently and am excited about the potential of great medical care at Mayo facilities, but I want to work with providers who will be welcoming. This is especially important since I'm looking into making appointments with an OB/GYN — my partner and I are looking into family planning options, which will be more complicated since neither of us produce sperm.

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Hi doslovesdogs, welcome. I encourage you to seek care at Mayo Clinic. Here are a few articles that might be useful for you.
– Mayo Clinic named a ‘Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality’ by Human Rights Campaign Foundation https://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/discussion/mayo-clinic-named-a-leader-in-lgbtq-healthcare-equality-by-human-rights-campaign-foundation/
– Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast: Barriers to care for LGBTQ community https://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/discussion/mayo-clinic-qa-podcast-barriers-to-care-for-lgbtq-community/

You might also like to hear from LGBTQIA Mayo employees

You and your partner are welcome. You may also wish to join the Fertility & Reproductive Health group here: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/group/fertility-reproduction-health/
Many of the members in this group have been to the Reproductive endocrinology and infertility clinic in Minnesota.

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@colleenyoung Thank you so much for the additional resources and the welcome to the Rochester/Mayo community.

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Hi everyone! Thanks for the well wishes and information — I am hoping today for (maybe?) reassurance and suggestions. I was assigned to a PCP and I am unsure how LGBTIQ+ friendly she is. I tried to call and request a provider (Natalie Erbs, M.D.) who specifically lists herself as focused around women's health, obstetrics, and LGBTIQ+ health/wellness — which seemed perfect!! — but she is not taking new patients. I am feeling anxious about finding a good fit in a provider, and I'm honestly a little bit let down to not get to see the one person I felt "sure" about.

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@doslovesdogs21

Hi everyone! Thanks for the well wishes and information — I am hoping today for (maybe?) reassurance and suggestions. I was assigned to a PCP and I am unsure how LGBTIQ+ friendly she is. I tried to call and request a provider (Natalie Erbs, M.D.) who specifically lists herself as focused around women's health, obstetrics, and LGBTIQ+ health/wellness — which seemed perfect!! — but she is not taking new patients. I am feeling anxious about finding a good fit in a provider, and I'm honestly a little bit let down to not get to see the one person I felt "sure" about.

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@doslovesdogs21 I have had that experience myself, not getting the provider I was hoping for. My suggestion is to go in with an open mind that you will be receiving quality care. Explain to the PCP assigned to you, what your expectations are, and inquire if they will meet that. Give them the opportunity to do the right thing by you, and thank them if they do. As patients, we often have to advocate for ourselves.

Let me know what you think of this idea, please?
Ginger

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@gingerw

@doslovesdogs21 I have had that experience myself, not getting the provider I was hoping for. My suggestion is to go in with an open mind that you will be receiving quality care. Explain to the PCP assigned to you, what your expectations are, and inquire if they will meet that. Give them the opportunity to do the right thing by you, and thank them if they do. As patients, we often have to advocate for ourselves.

Let me know what you think of this idea, please?
Ginger

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@gingerw That is a very good suggestion, thanks! I am not always a very good advocate for myself (a bit of a people-pleaser), but it's an important reminder that I am one of the most important pieces in navigating my own medical care. Thank you!

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@doslovesdogs21

@gingerw That is a very good suggestion, thanks! I am not always a very good advocate for myself (a bit of a people-pleaser), but it's an important reminder that I am one of the most important pieces in navigating my own medical care. Thank you!

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@doslovesdogs21 You're welcome! I will be anxious to hear from you, about your experience and feelings of advocating for your own health. We have that right, definitely!
Ginger

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@gingerw I have not had an in-person appointment yet with this PCP, but I have messaged with her in the portal and it went very well! I think she will be a good fit and I'm very relieved. Thank you again for your advice. :^)

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