Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Peter, help! How do I find a gay doc?

[Peter Pointers is here 4 YOU, as a service to LifeLube readers - whatever question you may have regarding sexual health, physical health, mental/emotional and spiritual health - ask him. He will find the answers you are looking 4. helped by a team of experts. Below is a recent Q&A you may be interested to read.]

Question: Peter, I don’t feel comfortable enough with my current doctor to tell him I’m gay.  I would like to find a doctor that is either gay or that is gay-friendly.  Any suggestions?

Answer: Hello and thank you so much for your question!  This is an issue that comes up very often for us in the LGBT community and I, for one, feel horrible that so many people feel discriminated against or treated unfairly by their doctors because of their sexual orientation.  Especially with the current state of insurance limiting the doctors you can see, it can be difficult to find a provider that is a keeper!

First of all, you are absolutely right to want a medical provider with whom you feel comfortable.  Being able to be honest and open with your doc is the beginning of a very important relationship.  Your doctor is reliant on the information you provide to make the best decisions about your health and care.  Obviously, if you don’t feel comfortable sharing your sexual orientation, your doctor is not getting the full picture of your health.

To answer your question, there are several physicians that treat the GLBT community in Chicago and the surrounding area.

Two helpful resources you can use to locate the right doctor for you are:

1)    the Gay Lesbian Medical Association’s (GLMA) website and
2)    the Alternative phonebook of Chicago.

Through GLMA’s website, www.glma.org, you can search by your zip code for many qualified specialists.  This website even provides options to find doctors in specific specialties (dentist, surgeons, or family medicine – I’ll take one of each, thank you!) or with a specific patient/client focus (hormone therapy, elderly, bisexual men, etc.).  

The Alternative Phonebook of Chicago can be viewed online as well at.  Here you can find gay friendly doctors all around Chicagoland. 

I would be remiss not to mention one of Chicago’s most helpful LGBT medical resources, the Howard Brown Health Clinic (disclaimer: for full transparency, Howard Brown is a partner of Project CRYSP and Lifelube.org, the website that hosts yours truly).  Howard Brown, which can be found at www.howardbrown.org, accepts most major forms of insurance.

Lastly, one of the best options you have for finding a great doctor is your friends.  Ask around and fine out who your gay friends and colleagues see.  Sometimes the best source of information is word of mouth! 

There are many respectful medical providers out there. Please take the time to research these doctors and find which one is right for you.  Once again, I thank you, readers, for all of your questions.

Be well,
Peter Pointers

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