Are you out to your physician?

  • cageym

    Posts: 99

    Aug 07, 2011 3:19 AM GMT
    I learned from a friend today that he is NOT out to his doctor. He turned 40 this year and has seen this doctor for a number of years but has never told the guy that he's gay. He said the doctor is straight and he is concerned that he'd be treated differently if he came out to the doc.

    To me, your sexuality and sexual practices is an important part of your medical history. I encouraged him to come out or switch to a physician with whom he could be comfortable disclosing that. I even offered him a referral to my internist (who is gay). My friend isn't totally in the closet, but he's not what I would call "out" either, so I guess this shouldn't be a total shock, but it does concern me. Or am I just being an alarmist?
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    Aug 07, 2011 3:33 AM GMT
    I would think your concern IS valid as sexual history is extemely important to your medical history in case you need to diagnose something serious... I wouldnt be bothered if hes only having minor things such as ear-infections, common colds etc...
  • trainhard2011

    Posts: 231

    Aug 07, 2011 5:51 AM GMT
    Yup. I was suicidal, and told him why. Not because of my sexuality but because of hate for me.
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    Aug 07, 2011 12:05 PM GMT
    I made it easy on myself and found a gay doctor, whose office is right across the street from where I live (very convenient for me since I visit every 3 months).

    One of the advantages of living in a large city with lots of gay people, is the number of gay doctors. I personally would find it a bit awkward to have a straight doctor, unless he/she was very open-minded about gays. Unfortunately homophobia exists even in the medical profession.
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    Aug 07, 2011 12:23 PM GMT
    I don't keep anything from my doctor. He knows I am gay. Besides...he is gay. My previous doctor was straight and I didn't feel he was comfortable having a gay patient. I had questions that he just couldnt answer.
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    Aug 07, 2011 12:29 PM GMT
    Yeah, my doctor is gay and I chose him for that reason. When I became single and started dating again after my last relationship, I wanted to get tested, and I ended up choosing a gay doctor. It works out great, I can be very candid with him.
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    Aug 07, 2011 12:38 PM GMT
    Mine is still trying to truly command the English language and comprehend the importance of a stethoscope. His knowledge of my sexuality is the least of my concerns.
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    Aug 07, 2011 12:45 PM GMT
    cageym saidI learned from a friend today that he is NOT out to his doctor. He turned 40 this year and has seen this doctor for a number of years but has never told the guy that he's gay. He said the doctor is straight and he is concerned that he'd be treated differently if he came out to the doc.

    To me, your sexuality and sexual practices is an important part of your medical history. I encouraged him to come out or switch to a physician with whom he could be comfortable disclosing that. I even offered him a referral to my internist (who is gay). My friend isn't totally in the closet, but he's not what I would call "out" either, so I guess this shouldn't be a total shock, but it does concern me. Or am I just being an alarmist?


    Just because you feel the need to disclose your sexuality to your doctor does not mean that your friend does or should. Why, indeed, is it relevant? For example, if someone has unsafe sex and decides to go to their doctor to be tested, the fact is that the person had unsafe sex. Whether or not it was with a same sex partner is irrelevant. And I'm sure it makes no difference to the doctor what someone's sexuality is. If there are questions the doctor cannot answer, they should know of appropriate support services. (This is the case in the UK with our National Health Service.) Sorry to be blunt, your friend's medical affairs are none of your business.
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    Aug 07, 2011 1:00 PM GMT
    My doctor knows I'm gay and I have not had any problems with him, so far.

    Mike
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    Aug 07, 2011 1:01 PM GMT
    Isn't part of taking care of your health being honest?

    It's also amazing how well an acute Dr. will pick up on things. Everything gets documented.

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    Aug 07, 2011 1:14 PM GMT
    Well, of course it's important that your doctor knows your history. But hey, if he doesn't have any sexual health related problems than fair game to him I guess.

    I recently told my doctor I'm gay...just casually brought it up in conversation. He's a new doctor, and appears to be a straight middle aged man. It was pretty funny actually...he was all HOLY CRAP THIS IS AWKWARD hahaha. AWW YEAH icon_cool.gif
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    Aug 07, 2011 1:47 PM GMT
    you may have to call his doctor up and out him. jk
  • leftysj

    Posts: 7

    Aug 07, 2011 1:59 PM GMT
    Not only am I out to my doctor, I often attend appointments with my husband. I think it's quite important to be out, because your support system is an important part of your home treatment team when you're ill. You want someone, spouse, family or friend, that you and your physician both trust to be part of your team. icon_biggrin.gif
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    Aug 07, 2011 2:02 PM GMT
    My GP is a great gay doc but I have to see a cardiologist once a year (had chemotherapy that damaged a heart muscle.) Great guy who sees a lot of gay patients because of his location. So he asks me, "How come all my gay patients are in such good shape?"

    I couldn't resist "If you had a chance to get sex at the gym, you'd be there 8 days a week"

    We've been great friends since then
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    Aug 07, 2011 2:29 PM GMT
    Are you out to your physician?"

    Yes, both my partner & I are. We share the same straight GP, but her practice is mostly GLBT, with a focus on HIV/AIDS. We also tell any specialists we see, since we place mutual Health Care Surrogates and other legal documents on file with them that allow us to participate in each other's medical information & decisions.

    That's why my new urologist invited my partner into his consulting office himself when he was briefing me on the prostate cancer he just found. Likewise why my partner's orthopedic surgeon always includes me in office visits & exams, his ophthalmologist does the same, his cardiologist, and all the attending hospital staff during our stays there.

    On the other hand, when I was using the VA (US Veterans Administration) health system I hid the information, fearing discrimination, especially if I ever contracted HIV. I could always invent some story to explain the exposure (actually the VA itself infected some of its own patients with HIV from using unsterilized equipment), whereas admitting I was a "homo" would make it a "self-inflicted wound" and earn me no sympathy and a low priority. And since I saw a new doctor every visit (only my Primary Care doctor was supposed to be assigned, but those changed a lot, too, constant turnover), I'd have to be telling them almost every visit.
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    Aug 07, 2011 2:40 PM GMT
    Nope not out to him at all. To make my problem worse, my doc is pretty damn hot. So I have to think about chairs and birds sometimes to keep my compass from pointing to the true north. I think he's catching on with my requests for HIV screens every 4 months. He's in Austin, though, so I doubt he would be surprised. What if he were secretly bi and wanted to.... uh... there I go again.....
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    Aug 07, 2011 2:48 PM GMT
    Yes.
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    Aug 07, 2011 2:52 PM GMT
    File this under "Things I Never Thought Of." As in, I never thought of not being out to my primary care physician. He is straight, but has even met my partner.
  • cageym

    Posts: 99

    Aug 07, 2011 4:27 PM GMT
    Student_90 saidMine is still trying to truly command the English language and comprehend the importance of a stethoscope. His knowledge of my sexuality is the least of my concerns.


    You need a different doctor.
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    Aug 07, 2011 4:30 PM GMT
    Yes. He is responsible for my health. If he doesnt know everything then he cant help me. He does sometimes lecture me a bit, which I find annoying. But its not too bad and I only go once a year or so.
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    Aug 07, 2011 4:38 PM GMT
    Yup. All questions get answered with ease and I have a great client/patient relationship.
  • CuriousJockAZ

    Posts: 19138

    Aug 07, 2011 4:43 PM GMT
    Thankfully, I only go to the doctor once a year for my annual check-up. I have no idea if he's straight or gay, and he's never asked me if I am, nor have I told him. I suppose I would if I thought there was any need to do that, but that need hasn't come up --- as of yet anyway. I would have no problem telling him if I thought I needed to. It's just never come up.
  • mdhrdtop

    Posts: 26

    Aug 07, 2011 4:55 PM GMT
    Yes.

    I live in small city (Annapolis, MD) and while I'm very, very, very (count them ... three veryies) lucky that I don't find myself in need of a doctor very often, I'm not happy with the local medical community - not at all.

    I've found that with many things, you have to take care of things yourself. Since, my last physician "lost" my HIV test results and when contacted him to get the results he said he couldn't find them and to "just go take the test again", I was blow away. Wrong Answer!!! How !@#$ing insensitve. Finding a doctor that I like has been very tricky.

    After that experience, I tried calling the AAMC doctor referral line and spoke to someone and mentioned in passing that I was looking for a GLBT friendly physician and the nurse practioner on the other end of the phone asked me what "glbt" stood for!!! Needless to say, that referral didn't go very far. I got connected with the community health center. And I'm still not sure that I like them any better. What that really translates into is NOT going to the doctor when I probably should.

    From time-to-time I've used www.privatemdlabs.com and found that I get the results back quickly and accurately - but - I have to be smart enough to interpret the results and know when I need someone else to help!!! So, while this is a private way to monitor my STD health, were there ever to be a problem, it would mean find a doctor who was sensitve to and understanding about GLBT health issues.

    Sorry for getting on my high horse (ride em cowboy) about this but it bugs me a lot that gay health issues are difficult to deal with in the medical community, when for the most part their bright people who should be open to diversity - but - I find that they just as stupid and narrow-minded as the rest of the world. What was I ever thinking!!!
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    Aug 07, 2011 5:17 PM GMT
    my physician is gay muscle bear. that pretty much answers the question.
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    Aug 07, 2011 5:26 PM GMT
    Student_90 saidMine is still trying to truly command the English language and comprehend the importance of a stethoscope. His knowledge of my sexuality is the least of my concerns.


    HAHAHAHA!icon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gif