How To Find A Doctor That Is Going To Support LGBTQ+ Patients

Healthcare is a vital part of our lives. While some groups of people have never had to worry about being treated poorly by a doctor, marginalized groups of people, including those who identify as LGBTQ+, will understand the stress and worry that comes with finding a healthcare provider (via Healthline). "Given this historical context, and even more particularly so if LGBTQ+ folks have other intersecting identities, such as being a person of color, having a disability, being poor, fat, elderly, etc., there is hesitancy, reluctance, fear, trauma, and resentment that all [define] LGBTQ+ folks' relationships to healthcare," said Kristen Martinez, MEd, EdS, LMHCA, NCC, an LGBTQ+-affirmative counselor at Pacific NorthWell in Seattle, Washington.

If you are a member of the LGBTQ+ community, there are a few tips you can follow to help you find a doctor that will provide you with competent and sensitive care. The first thing to do in your doctor search is to speak with LGBTQ+ friends and family about their healthcare providers. See who they visit and if they enjoy their experience. If you can't find any leads that way, see if you can locate an LBGT-friendly clinic in your area. You can do this by searching "clinic near me + LGBTQIA" or something similar online.

The importance of finding a doctor you can trust

It is crucial that you are completely honest with your doctor regarding every health concern. Unfortunately, this is often not the case. A 2018 study published by Jama Network found that 80% of participants admitted that they hid some information from their health care provider over the course of their time as a patient. The main reason for this was that patients didn't want to be judged by their doctors. Lying to your doctor or feeling like your doctor does not respect you can lead to real health consequences.

This is why it is so important to find a doctor that you can trust. Although it can sometimes be a long and frustrating process, it is worth the time and effort it takes to settle on a practitioner that you enjoy visiting. If you can, it is a good idea to visit prospective doctors during your search. Visiting them in person will allow you to experience how they speak with you and how comfortable you feel sharing information with them.