For members of the LGBTQ+ community, the thought of coming out to their healthcare provider can be anxiety-inducing and stressful. Many patients worry that transparency regarding their sexual orientation or gender identity will be met with judgment and hostility, and unfortunately many have had negative healthcare experiences in the past.
At River Bend Medical Associates, we are committed to delivering compassionate health care and promoting the well-being of all of our patients, and the communities we serve. When providing services to members of our local LGBT+ community, our goal is for our patients to feel secure in discussing any issue of medical concern with their River Bend practitioner. We understand that coming out is always a personal choice, but it can help to improve the care you get from your doctor.
Being as honest and open with your doctor, nurse, or counselor about your sexual orientation, gender identity, and sexual behaviors can help them know what’s needed to give you the best possible care. Things discussed with your healthcare provider during your visit will generally be completely private. (Unless there’s a situation where they feel you may be in danger)
Here are 4 tips for coming out to your doctor:
- Check Them Out – Do some research, and ask other LGBTQ+ people in the area for healthcare provider recommendations.
- Bring Backup – If you’re feeling anxious about talking about your sexual orientation or gender identity, bring a friend or trusted support person to your doctor’s appointment.
- Ask Questions – Since you may feel vulnerable and nervous about having this conversation, it’s a good idea to bring a list of questions and concerns with you, that way you won’t forget anything.
- Share or Not – Only share what you are ready to share. You may find that you’re not yet comfortable sharing the full details of your sexual activity right off the bat and that’s ok. Building trust takes time. The more you talk to your provider about this subject, the more comfortable you’ll become.
Identifying as an LGBTQ+ person can be a part of your life experience that makes it difficult for you to feel comfortable enough to seek and get the care that you need. Finding a health care team that is sensitive to and embraces, LGBT+ identity allows you to utilize the full spectrum of health care support available to you. At River Bend Medical Associates we strive to create an environment where our LGBTQ+ patients feel welcomed and assured that they, and their families, will receive quality compassionate healthcare. Our progressive, sensitive, and culturally diverse team is committed to delivering compassionate health care and promoting the well-being of our patients. As part of your medical team, we are here to provide you with the best care in all aspects of your health care needs. For more information on our medical practice, or to make an appointment contact River Bend Medical Associates, or call 916-392-4000.