Experiences in the Medical System

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 16, 2007 5:20 AM GMT
    I am in medical school, and I was really interested in hearing some people's experience with the medical system, either here or abroad.

    Some questions to think about:
    - Do you see a physician regularly?
    - Are you out to him/her? (out meaning sexual orientation, behaviors, kinks, etc.)
    - Have you ever been treated differently or felt you recieved substandard care because of your sexual orientation?
    - Have there been situations in which you believe your care was improved by your caregiver being aware of your sexual orientation and/or practices?

    So as not to discriminate, I have noticed that a lot of guys on here are married or otherwise involved in a heterosexual relationship according to their profiles.
    - Do you doctors know you are attracted to other men?
    - If you have sex with men outside your heterosexual relationship (which you are more likely to mention to your doctor), have you discussed this with him/her?

    This last one is more to satisfy my own personal curiousity. A study published in the fall found that in NYC, 2/3 of the men who had sex with men did not identify as gay. Of those men, 70% were married. I have never known I was interacting with a man in this kind of situation, although I am sure I have met plenty unknowingly (married MSM accounted for 5.6% of the total men in the survey).
    - If you are married and having sex with other men outside your marriage, do you still have sex with your wife? Does she know?
    - If you are still sexually active with your wife, do you take steps to protect her sexual health?
    - If your provider doesn't know, would you like him/her to? Could your doctor say or do something to make you feel comfortable revealing this to him/her?

    This isn't a survey, you don't have to answer everything. I am just posing these as things to think about if you want to reply.

    Overall, in RI (where I live) ~46% of LGBT people are out to their docs. Nationally, its a lot lower. There are a bunch of reasons it is important for doctors to know, but obviously, it only helps with a tolerant physician. I can get into it more in another post if people are interested.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 16, 2007 4:16 PM GMT
    Wow, a lot of questions in one topic.

    I don't see a doctor "regularly" because it's just too expensive.

    Yes, when the guy who I see (when I'm sick) found out that I had sex with other men, there was a noticable reaction. Now he stands as far away from me as he can get and pointedly avoids touching me unless he absolutely has to. Not much choice of doctors in a small town.

    Sometimes, I teach classes at nearby colleges for pre-med and nursing students. They are shoving so many unqualified people through these programs, to satisfy demand for nurses, that it's scary. I suspect that the colleges are focused on raking in federally-subsidized tuition dollars and don't really care about the quality of their programs. (Just for example, instructors are mostly part-timers paid minimum wage.) From now on, I'm checking the written instructions and the math on any dosages that a nurse gives me.

    I did have one disturbing direct experience. A couple of years ago, I was quite ill. I waited weeks to see the doc, stood in line, paid for a bunch of expensive tests. Then I got a call saying that I had to come back because they'd "lost" my samples. Then another call saying, "Oh never mind, the tests were negative." This made me suspicious, so I repeated the tests myself (I have the technology, at least for the simple ones) photographed the results, and took them back to the clinic. Finally got my prescription after a month. People can die in a month.

    Since then, I've acquired a small stock of antibiotics through the "gray market," just in case.

    The laughable thing is that I was working one of those low-paying teaching gigs, just so I could get health insurance!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 16, 2007 5:04 PM GMT
    - Do you see a physician regularly? YES

    - Are you out to him/her? (out meaning sexual orientation, behaviors, kinks, etc.) NO, BUT I WOULDNT BE SURPRISED IF HE FIGURED IT OUT. ALSO, I HAVE NEVER HAD ANY COMPLAINT THAT MADE IT RELEVANT TO TELL HIM

    - Have you ever been treated differently or felt you recieved substandard care because of your sexual orientation? NO. NOT A PROBLEM IN THE WASHINGTON DC AREA, I DONT THINK

    - Have there been situations in which you believe your care was improved by your caregiver being aware of your sexual orientation and/or practices? I DONT BELEIVE MY CARE HAS BEEN AFFECTED IN ANYWAY BY MY ORIENTATION.

    However, I think my care for prostate cancer could have been improved if the program just took into consideration that I am a single male with no prior history of a major medical problem. I had no concept of what to expect. I think a married guy, especially with a family, would have a lot more experience with illness and would need less support and explanation of what to expect. I have felt that the dr and nurse knew as experts what was going to happen to me but didnt see it from a novice's point of view. Talk about a lamb going to slaughter. In the cancer center here, they run you through a Prostate Cancer School just before the brachytherapy. Hello? I was in shock coming out of there and had no one for further support. I needed more one-on-one explanation, not a more general presentation in a group setting.

    There you go, future dr, hope that helps in some way.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 17, 2007 5:28 AM GMT
    - Do you see a physician regularly?

    I do, annually.

    - Are you out to him/her? (out meaning sexual orientation, behaviors, kinks, etc.)

    I am. My doctor asked about my sexual orientation on my first visit. Perhaps because of my answer to the "Marital Status" question on the paperwork that the office staff has you fill out at your first visit. The only choices were Single, Married, Divorced, Widowed. And when this happens, I write in Partnered, because I'm really none of the above.

    - Have you ever been treated differently or felt you recieved substandard care because of your sexual orientation?

    No. I'm treated just like the rest of the herd that files through.

    - Have there been situations in which you believe your care was improved by your caregiver being aware of your sexual orientation and/or practices?

    No, I don't believe so, but I think it would be the case if my doctor was gay, too. I feel there'd be an important communications connection there. Ultimately: a gay doctor who takes time to actually talk with his or her patients and who considers non-Western forms of medicine as viable options for health care, in addition to more mainstream approaches... if you find someone like this, let me know!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 17, 2007 5:47 AM GMT
    Q1. do you see the doc regularly?
    A. yes, by coincidence i've had a few reasons to go chat w/ my doc frequently. knee injury and newly discovered allergy to florida things :D (i have to admit i try to find reasons since one of the desk techs is REALLY hot and we flirt w/ each other)

    Q2. are you out to your doc?
    A. yep, 100% (it's a group of doctors that cater to the gay community)

    Q3. treated differently or gotten substandard care because of Q2?
    A. substandard, nope. treated differently, yep, for the better. my doctor makes sure we understand each other for my well-being, as in sexual practices for gay guys, safe sex, etc. my doc (she, by the way) and i are quite frank with each other and i'm not at all concerned about inquiring of any issue.

    Q4. (opposite of Q3)
    A. already covered :)

    Q5 on, skipped, not applicable

    Brix, my doc is w/ Northpoint Medical which admittedly is south a bit from your place, but the entire staff is very friendly and very good. i've never had a problem and i get great service with fast results. i was just there this week for a CMP and my labs are already back and a copy of my CMP is waiting for me to pick up for a nutritionist.

    if you two are interested, check them out. it's not that much longer of a drive past FAU and they're on federal just past mcnab. northpointmed.com, my doc is Doc Colon. she's really great :D
  • speedoguy53

    Posts: 124

    Mar 17, 2007 2:53 PM GMT

    - Do you see a physician regularly?

    At least once a year.

    - Are you out to him/her? (out meaning sexual orientation, behaviors, kinks, etc.)

    Yes, I will refer to "my partner and I". He is also gay and was recommended to me by some gay friends.

    - Have you ever been treated differently or felt you recieved substandard care because of your sexual orientation?

    No...the DR I had before this one was a nice competent guy but as someone else mentioned there were no medical issues I had that would have shown that I were gay. The issue just never came up.


    - Have there been situations in which you believe your care was improved by your caregiver being aware of your sexual orientation and/or practices?

    No. But I do feel very comfortable having a gay DR and him knowing I am.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 17, 2007 10:10 PM GMT
    I try to get an appointment at least once per year. Health Care is free here so if you can get an appointment your lucky. If I get 10 minutes with her, I am lucky, so no never brought up sexual orientation. Besides Never screwed around on anybody. I know I need to find a new doctor!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 17, 2007 10:11 PM GMT
    When I get down to Pawtucket to visit my brother, you can give me a physical. lol