Friday, September 19, 2014

The Last Couple Of Days…

…I have been at an outreach at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine for the second year med students, this have been annual event for me for around ten years. The School of Medicine has two classes on taking sexual history for LGBT patients and how to make your office LGBT friendly, the second class begins with a lecture on what doctors can do to make their office more of an open and affirming space. That it is not just the doctors but also their staff and forms that should be LGBT friendly, from the moment we walk through their doors or call on the phone the patients should feel safe to discuss all their health concerns.

The doctor that gives the lecture tells a story about when he was still a student and the doctor he was assigned to track would ask girls if they had a boyfriend yet. He said he used to cringe whenever the doctor said that, he said by asking that question a girl who is lesbian might withhold vital medical information. Another story that he told was when he was doing a sexual history and asked if she used condoms. When she started to giggle he looked at her and she said that she was a lesbian. He said he wanted to hit himself on the head thinking… “I teach the class!”

Then the panel that I was on got to tell our medical history and after we told out stories there was a Q&A session after which we broke up into same workgroups. What I mentioned was about when I got into an argument with a nurse on the phone and also the trouble I had getting my PSA test paid by Medicare.

Incident with the nurse happened when she called me to tell me lab results and she asked for Diana, she didn’t believe that I was Diana and refused to give me my test results and it went back and forth several times. Finally after I told her that I was Diana and she told me I wasn’t; she then told me to have Diana call. I called back immediately and got a different nurse who gave me my results. I also told her about the other nurse and she said she would have a talk with her.

The other incident happened this past winter when I went for my annual physical and the doctor ordered (rightly so) a PSA test for me. However, since Medicare has me as female they rejected to bill and it bounced back and forth between me, the insurance company, and the doctor’s office until it was resolved last month.

Since I have been doing these outreach I have bumped into some of the doctors who have had the class and remember me from it. It is nice that more and more schools are training future doctors about LGBT patients.

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