Looking for LGBT-friendly pediatricians for your child
Whether as an LGBT parent or if your child is one, you need to find LGBT-friendly pediatricians in order to address your child’s needs.
To determine if your pediatrician will take good care of your child, here are some tips gathered by the New York Times in determining the right doctor for your child.
Looking for LGBT-friendly pediatricians
First, LGBT parents need to find a partner in a pediatrician who is welcoming, inclusive, and ready to hold important conversations with you on your child’s needs.
Charlotte J. Patterson, a professor of psychology at the University of Virginia, told the New York Times: “Parents can ask questions about how practitioners handle issues relevant to sexual orientation and gender identity.”
“This can help parents ensure that, whether gay or straight, cisgender or nonbinary, their children will receive safe, inclusive, and supportive medical care,” Patterson said.
To this end, she said parents can also consult with local groups of LGBT resource centers for recommendations on pediatric practices. One group cited was the Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG)
How LGBT-friendly pediatricians act and speak
Meanwhile, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has advised their own doctors to put up visual signals that indicate their LGBT-friendliness, and holding conversations with their patients on the pronounce they use.
For parents and patients, Dr. Christopher Harris, the chairman of the American Academy of Pediatrics section on LGBT health and wellness, recommended they look for visual signals that a practice is LGBT-friendly.
In this case, they should look for “posters on the wall, rainbows, rainbow flags, pronoun stickers on health care provider name tags, signs in the waiting room saying we care for all families.”
Meanwhile, Dr. Ilana Sherer, a pediatrician and a member of the executive committee of the AAP section on LGBT health and wellness, recommended parents check on a practice’s website for LGBT-friendly language.
This includes messages about “serving different kinds of families, careful attention to pronouns, and signals that the office is not making any assumptions.”
Always listen to how the questions are asked
It’s also important to consider how questions as asked, whether on their website, at the front desk, in the forms to be filled in, or at the examination room.
Dr. Sherer pointed out that it’s important to listen to how questions are asked in intake forms and initial interviews. It’s always better if the doctors ask open-ended questions.
“Are they asking questions in ways that allow somebody who is not straight and binary and cisgender to answer?” she said.
She added, “Do they understand that gay, straight, bisexual are not the only choices?”
She further said that parents should be wary of comments that “gender kids unnecessarily– are they giving a boy a He-Man sticker or letting him choose?”