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Finding a Healthcare Provider

UMHS TBLG Knowledgeable/Sensitive Provider list:

The Pride Network maintains a list of University of Michigan healthcare providers who have self identified as providing sensitive and knowledgeable health care for Transgender, Bisexual, Lesbian and or Gay patients and families.

To find a provider in the UMHS system, please e-mail Scott Klee and submit your request. 

If your healthcare provider is not on this list that does not mean that they are not willing and able to treat TBLG patients and families.    As indicated in the University of Michigan Hospitals Patient's Rights,`  

You have the right to receive necessary care regardless of your race, sex (includes gender identity and gender expression), color, religion, creed, national origin or ancestry, age, marital status, sexual orientations, disability, special disabled veteran and Vietnam-era veteran status, and height or weight, except as allowed by the need for bona fide occupational qualification. Reasonable accommodation will also be provided to persons with disabilities, to disabled veterans, and to accommodate religious practices.

In addition, the following organizations provide online searches for providers in your area.

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Helpful hints for your search

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Other ways to find a TBLG-friendly healthcare provider

Ask Around
Talk to your friends, family members and co-workers. Ask them who their doctors are. Find out if they know a particular medical group to be TBLG-friendly.

Call your HMO or Health Plan
Call the general information number of your HMO and ask for a list of TBLG-friendly doctors. If they don't have one, suggest that they put such a list together.

Call your local TBLG Community Center
Many times centers will have referral lists for TBLG-friendly doctors and therapists.

Call and Ask Questions
You may not get the doctor on the phone, but you should be able to talk to a nurse or physician's assistant. Find out if they have other TBLG patients. Is the staff trained in TBL or G health issues? Also ask about insurance plans, fees and what services are offered. If you have a specific medical need, make sure their office is equipped to deal with it.

Visit the office
What is the atmosphere? Are there TBLG materials in the waiting area, symbols or literature? Safe Zone posters? Non-discrimination policies posted?  Do the forms you fill out use words like "partner" instead of husband or wife?

Talk to the Doctor
Find out if she/he has worked with TBL or G patients before. Does she/he seem at ease in your presence? Is she/he able to talk openly about your sexuality? Do you feel you can be open with her/him?

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“Coming Out to Your Health Care Provider”
Being honest about your sexual orientation or gender identity can be a matter of life and death — or, at a minimum, essential to getting effective care and treatment. Some of the people who may most need to know the truth about your orientation or identity are your health care providers. Coming out to them can be hard, however, because inaccurate information exists across the medical community about the treatment of GLBT patients.

A number of health care providers still mistakenly presume all patients are heterosexual. As a result, it can be awkward when a doctor or nurse asks whether you are sexually active and what kind of birth control you use.

Their ignorance encourages many GLBT people to delay or avoid getting the care they need. And it keeps many from talking with their providers about promoting good health and preventing disease in an informed, open way.

Transgender and transsexual people also need to be aware that many U.S. insurance companies exclude health care coverage to people who are undergoing medical sex reassignment. Disclosure about your transgender status may be risky if it becomes part of your medical record. Moreover, supportive health care providers face obstacles in giving care and treatment to transgender and transsexual people — who often have to pay for services routinely covered by insurance companies.

If you are not ready to come out to your own health care provider, perhaps you would feel more comfortable talking with a gay-friendly one. Your local GLBT community center may be able to help you. In addition, feel free to contact GLBT health organizations that are willing to educate physicians and protect your anonymity at the same time.

Similarly, if you have a therapist, make sure he or she is knowledgeable about issues facing GLBT people. A number of providers remain ill-informed, particularly about transgender issues — and could give inaccurate or damaging advice. Many professionals, when working on such issues, use a set of guidelines compiled by the Harry Benjamin International Gender Dysphoria Association. A growing number, however, treat transgender clients by getting their informed consent.

It’s important for you to ask your doctor if she or he has experienced working with a transgender patient’s transition — and whether it has been from male to female or female to male. It’s also a good idea to consult transgender organizations or friends before choosing a doctor or therapist. In addition, it’s important to understand that there is no right or wrong way to transition. It’s your own process. Whether you choose to take hormones or to have sex reassignment surgery, it’s OK. Do whatever is comfortable to allow you to be true to yourself.                                                                                                      -   From HRC.org

Explore the many resources and links provided. Please contact us if you have additional resources you would like to add.

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