Choosing Your LGBTQ+ Friendly Provider
Healthcare discrimination and disparities are hurting those within the LGBTQ+ community. By knowing how to find the right provider, patients can get the care they need and deserve.
The various health needs of the LGBTQ+ community are unique and, more importantly, they matter.
It’s also vital that providers are knowledgeable not only in LGBTQ+ terminology , but show compassion, respect and sensitivity to populations who face criticism and discrimination simply because of who they are.
While it can feel discouraging or even frightening to seek out the care you and your loved ones rightfully deserve, especially if you’ve had bad experiences in the past, there are steps you can take to ensure you find the right LGBTQ+ provider:
Good rapport and feeling overall comfort and safety
A specialist or provider can look good on paper, but if they don’t feel “right” to you, listen to your instincts and continue your search.
Create a checklist
So, how does one properly navigate the often intimidating healthcare system? One of the first things you can (and should) do is make a checklist of things you not only want, but need out of those who takes care of your health. Keep in mind office hours, location and insurances accepted as this criteria will help determine who is most appropriate for you.
Once you’ve created your checklist, you can begin your search for your provider. At Jefferson Health, we pride ourselves on employing team of LGBTQ+ friendly and trained providers, so no matter where you look, make sure your provider focuses on training and continual education to serve and support the needs of the LGBTQ+ community.
Talk with someone you trust
Another way you can find a local provider who best fits you and your unique needs is to speak to those in your community for help and advice. By asking friends, mentors or loved ones about who they see, it’s a good way to gage if they are happy not only with the care they receive, but other factors like office staff and availability.
Once you make your appointment, keep in mind that your first few visits will be discussing general health issues, social issues and health goals, in addition to addressing more pressing or urgent medical issues.