Finding a good family doctor who is accepting new patients and fits all your criteria for open, frank communication in a style that is welcoming, concerned and professional can be an arduous task. And most importantly, you need to make sure the physician is LGBT inclusive in his or her practice. You will need to take as much care as possible in selecting a doctor for your family. Just as you would research and interview a prospective babysitter, you need to research and interview doctors before you entrust her with the health of your family.
To make the job easier here are a few tips and organizations that can help.
You will need to do your research to come up with your short list of possible candidates. Start with your own doctors. If you have a great rapport with your personal physician, ask for recommendations of pediatricians and family practitioners who work with LGBT families. Contact your LGBT friends and local LGBT organizations for their recommendations. Start building that list of possible candidates in your area.
Once you have your short list, set up an appointment to meet with the doctors. You and your partner should try to attend this meeting together. You both need to feel good about the choice you make. Prepare a list of questions in advance. Also note the office set up, the receptionist, and the assistants. When you take on a doctor, you take on their staff as well. Check which hospitals the doctor is affiliated with and don’t forget to do your research on that hospital’s LGBT inclusive philosophy as well.
Check online: Below is a list of some organizations to help you with your research.
Once you both discuss your observations you will soon knock that short list down and be ready to begin a relationship with your family’s new physician.
The Gay & Lesbian Medical Association: Offers medical directory listings for the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. The listings are limited, but should help you find physicians in your state to get you started. Physicians Directory:
The Human Rights Campaign Healthcare Equality Index: The annual Healthcare Equality Index (HEI) is used by inpatient and outpatient healthcare organizations nationwide to strengthen the care they give LGBT patients. Health Care providers are rated on the “HEI Core Four Leader Criteria”: Patient Non-Discrimination, Equal Visitation, Employment Non-Discrimination, and Training in LGBT Patient-Centered Care.
If you live in the Boston, New England region try: http://fenwayhealth.org/
“The mission of Fenway Health is to enhance the wellbeing of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and all people in our neighborhoods and beyond through access to the highest quality health care, education, research and advocacy.”
Offers LGBT Family and Parenting Services: provides resources, information, and educational services to LGBT-headed families. http://fenwayhealth.org/care/wellness-resources/lgbt-family-services/ brings you to an extensive list of organizations offering services to LGBT families.
Many other states have health care directories as well. Check your local LGBT groups for more information.