Clinical Tools

There are several reasons that we have a responsibility to ask about this aspect of our patients’ lives. “Asking about sexual orientation and gender identity in clinical settings is a critical step that will enhance our knowledge of LGBT population health and improve patient-provider interactions. There are important health reasons to ask about sexual orientation and gender identity. [...]Providers who don't know that a female patient is transgender may not know to test her for prostate cancer.”- Huffington Post “Gay Voices-End LGBT Invisibility in Health Care Now! Do Ask, Do Tell
Okay so now that you have this information, you might be wondering “What should I ask my patients?”  We have covered how to ask about sexual partners in doctoring, but how do we ask about gender identity and sexual activity? You gently and without judgment ask:

With what gender do you identify?
What was your sex at birth?
Are you in a monogamous or polyamorous relationship?
With what gender or sex do you prefer to have sexual relationships?

Essentially, all you have to do is create a welcoming, non-judgemental environment in which they feel safe to share their personal details so that you can best help them stay healthy; the exact same thing you would do for ALL of your patients!

 Many of your LGBT patients will have had negative clinical experiences or know someone who has. Making it clear that you are "LGBT-friendly" will help patients to find a safe, caring space to receive care.

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