Questions LGBT People (and Everyone Else) Ought to Ask Their Doctors
April 18, 2013
What should lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people ask their medical providers before receiving tests or treatments of any kind?
Earlier this year, APICHA Community Health Center -- a community-based provider of quality health care, HIV prevention and education to communities of color, LGBT and low-income people in New York City -- hosted a workshop exploring this question. Entitled "10 Things LGBT People Need to Discuss With Their Health Care Providers," the workshop was part of APICHA's ongoing Project Connect program of community conversations. Delivering the presentation to a diverse audience from across the LGBT spectrum was Dr. Robert Murayama, APICHA's chief medical officer.
The workshop was broken down by population, though many of the issues raised cut across the entire LGBT community. For instance, the list of questions below is a great model for any LGBT person -- any person, in fact -- who wants to walk away fully informed from a conversation with their provider about prescriptions or procedures.
For more information about key points to discuss with health care providers, read Part One of this informative report.
If you are about to receive a test, make sure to ask:
- What will I know after the test?
- How will I find out the results?
- How long will it take for me to know the results?
- What does the test involve?
- Do I need to prepare ahead of time for the test (by not eating, drinking a certain amount of water, etc.)?
If you are about to enter treatment for a condition, make sure to ask:
- How will this condition be managed?
- What may have caused this condition?
- Will it be permanent?
- What can I do to learn more about my condition?
- How much will treatment cost?
- Will my insurance cover it?
If you are being prescribed medications, make sure to ask:
- What are the side effects?
- What if I miss a dose?
- Is there a generic version available?
Mathew Rodriguez is the editorial project manager for TheBody.com and TheBodyPRO.com.
Follow Mathew on Twitter: @mathewrodriguez.
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