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Groups release
tool to help LGBT patients talk to their doctors

Groups release
tool to help LGBT patients talk to their doctors

Mautner Project, GLMA, and HRC aim to improve communication with health care providers

The Mautner Project, the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association, and the Human Rights Campaign have released a new tool and online videos designed to help gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people be more open and improve communications with their health care providers, particularly when discussing issues related to sex and sexual orientation.

"Individual and institutional homophobia in the health care system has a devastating effect on the health and well-being of the LGBT community," said Mautner Project executive director Kathleen DeBold in a press statement. "By improving communications between patients and providers, these simple tools will help LGBT people receive the quality health care they need and deserve."

The two-sided printed tool--one side geared for patients, the other for health care providers--is available online at www.hrc.org.

The tool advises patients on five key topics: asking for referrals to LGBT-friendly providers; inquiring by telephone when making an appointment if the practice has any other lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender patients; bringing a friend for support when you plan to discuss your sexuality with your provider; bringing up the topic of your sexual orientation when you feel most comfortable doing so; and knowing what questions to ask about the specific health care issues affecting LGBTs.

The agencies also have produced two instructional videos--one for patients, the other for health care providers--that focus on ways to improve care for LGBT patients. The videos also can be accessed online. (The Advocate)

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