HealthyWomen: What’s sexual orientation got to do with it? LGTBQ people face discrimination in health care

UC expert says lack of training and implicit bias by health care providers are factors

A 2020 Kaiser Family Foundation survey found that LGBTQ people were more likely than others to have had a negative experience with a health care provider and twice as likely to feel their provider dismissed their concerns or assumed something about them without asking.

In an article posted by HealthyWomen, one of the experts cited was Sarah Pickle, MD, of the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the UC College of Medicine who specializes in caring for transgender people.

Sarah Pickle OB Family Medicine in White Coat

Sarah Pickle, MD, of the Department of Family and Community Medicine in the UC College of Medicine/Photo/Colleen Kelley/UC Creative Brand

Pickle attributes these behaviors to implicit bias, societal cues and lack of training among HCPs.

Even seemingly small slights can harm patients.

“When somebody’s not using your chosen name and not using your pronouns, it demonstrates a lack of respect,” Pickle said. “It also makes individuals possibly wonder, ‘Am I safe here?’”

HealthyWomen reported barriers are further compounded for LGBTQ people of color and members of other marginalized groups. Pickle noted that for a Black transgender woman who experiences racism and gender bias, layers of discrimination are additive and inseparable.

“LGBTQ equity has to happen aligned with racial equity and economic justice,” Pickle said. “It comes down to this idea that as individuals, we are complex. We hold multiple identities at the same time.”

Ultimately, health care providers need time and space to support their patients.

“It really is our responsibility as care providers to engage our patients in conversations about care, listen to them as the experts of their bodies, but not place the responsibility on them to teach us about the care that they need,” Pickle said.

Read the entire story here

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