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Helping LGBTQ+ Patients Feel Comfortable and Cared For

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Helping LGBTQ+ Patients Feel Comfortable and Cared For

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By Tim Kelly, Chief Strategy Officer for AdvantageCare Physicians

Helping LGBTQ+ Patients Feel Comfortable and Cared For

Being in a medical office or having a conversation with a provider can be stressful for anyone. But if you feel you may be unwelcome, misunderstood, or even judged in a care setting simply because of who you are, that anxiety is compounded. As a member of the LGBTQ+ community, I know first-hand the hesitation that might come with seeking care. That’s why it’s so important to us at AdvantageCare Physicians (ACPNY) to ensure we offer a care setting where all patients feel comfortable to share everything that might impact their health and well-being. Our “whole you” care commitment applies to all of our patients, and for our LGBTQ+ patients especially, we understand that receiving the care you deserve means feeling welcome, listened to, and understood in our practice.

"The reality is that caring for LGBTQ+ patients isn’t necessarily different than caring for any other patient." - Tim Kelly

When seeking care, LGBTQ+ patients may be hesitant to speak openly with their provider about their sexual orientation or gender identity. This could be due to:

  • Fear of judgment, or that coming out to your provider could somehow reduce the quality of your care
  • Cultural, religious, or other personal barriers that make LGBTQ+ issues difficult to discuss
  • For transgender or gender-nonconforming patients, concern that your provider might not know how to give you the care you need

The reality is that caring for LGBTQ+ patients isn’t necessarily different than caring for any other patient. So, for providers, the special attention isn’t necessarily about delivery of medical care, but rather how they approach their LGBTQ+ patients on a personal level, connect with them, and acknowledge any sensitivities that their patients may be bringing to the care experience.

The Importance of Feeling Comfortable with Your Provider

Helping LGBTQ+ Patients Feel Comfortable and Cared For

While coming out to your provider may not always be comfortable or easy, it’s important to remember that getting the care you need means being completely open about who you are. If you and your provider don’t establish a fully honest relationship, it can negatively impact factors that are critical to your health and well-being. For example, information or circumstances you don’t disclose to your provider may limit their ability to optimally guide your care, which might ultimately put you at higher risk for a wide range of preventable and treatable health issues. And although HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) aren’t exclusive to the LGBTQ+ community, gay men are at elevated risk for certain STIs, including HIV, which means your sexual orientation is a relevant factor in the care recommendations and treatment you receive from your provider.

How Can ACPNY Help You?

Helping LGBTQ+ Patients Feel Comfortable and Cared For

As Chief Strategy Officer for AdvantageCare Physicians, I do not have the privilege of seeing patients day-to-day in our medical offices, but I am lucky enough to work with clinical leadership as we determine how our practice can be at the forefront of delivering inclusive care to all our diverse patient populations, including the LGBTQ+ community. ACPNY has always sought to reflect the diverse communities we serve—all cultures and ethnicities, all religious groups, and of course, all gender identities and sexual orientations. Our team of providers takes great steps to address your concerns and help you feel comfortable enough to be your true, authentic self when seeking care. No matter how you identify, you can always walk into our offices feeling equally deserving of the care that’s right for you.

Learn more about our commitment to serving our diverse patient population here, or schedule your next appointment today.

In observance of Memorial Day, most ACPNY offices will be operating on a holiday schedule. For your convenience, select offices will remain open. Learn more.