Access to health care is a right of everyone, regardless of gender, race or sexual orientation. However, navigating the health care world as a member of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community can often be a daunting task.
Many challenges exist that make acquiring basic health care needs more difficult for the LGBT population than it is for the rest of society. Sexual minorities tend to avoid primary care due to fear of being stigmatized, fear of uncomfortable conversations, fear of lack of cultural competency on the part of providers and their staff. The LGBT population also has a higher rate of underinsurance than the general population.
Because of these challenges, LGBT health outcomes are worse than the rest of the population. Conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, high cholesterol, and obesity affect the LGBT community at a higher rate. Other concerns facing the LGBT population include HIV/AIDS, sexual or physical violence, and substance abuse.
Making Preventative Health Care Work
With the appropriate preventative health care, though, one can lower their risks. In 2016, it has never been easier to find a culturally-sensitive approach to your health care. It is not unreasonable to seek out a physician who shows an interest in working with members of the LGBT population, so don’t be afraid to ask what their previous experiences are working with LGBT patients.
Having a solid physical health care plan in place is only one part of the equation. The LGBT population also faces increased rates of emotional and mental health issues likely in large part due to the multiple social stressors that LGBT patients face.
For transgender customers, the approach to health care can be even more complex and challenging. There aren’t many holistic, primary care programs for transgender individuals. Furthermore, if a customer also wishes to take part in a hormone therapy program, the results can be thinner yet.
North Memorial Clinic – Brooklyn Center is one of the few places transgender individuals can access all of their primary care and gender-related medical needs all under one roof from a welcoming and experienced team of doctors and professionals.
Initial visits will include counselor and clinical pharmacist consultations for an in-depth discussion on the risks vs. benefits of hormone therapy, follow-ups on dosing and troubleshooting problems transgender patients may have with their medications. For transgender patients who are considering surgery, our experienced team can help coordinate referrals for other elements of transgender care, such as psychology and specialized surgeries.
North Memorial LGBT Resources
North Memorial Health Care is proud to offer the LGBT population an accessible, easy, and culturally competent care program. We have a number of openly LGBT physicians as well as many straight allies who specialize in the physical, sexual, and emotional health of the LBGT population.
To learn more about our providers, click here. To make an appointment, call (763) 581-CARE or schedule online. You can also learn more about our LGBT preventative health programs and meet some of the doctors.