“Compared to medical experiences that I have had before, I was relieved to find that someone went out of their way to learn about LGBTQ+-specific issues…”-Anonymous
“It never hurts to understand your patients better.” These were the words said to me during my last visit with a physician. As someone who is openly gay, this was music to my ears. I struggled for years to find healthcare providers that would be a good fit for me. After hours of researching on the computer and a few recommendations from friends who have gone through the same process, I was able to find doctors who have gone through cultural competency training. Compared to medical experiences that I have had before, I was relieved to find that someone went out of their way to learn about LGBTQ+-specific issues. It shows that they care about experiences other than their own. And let me tell you, this training made all of the difference in the care they were able to provide. I found myself opening up about health concerns I was too shy to talk about because I was more comfortable and the physician was asking questions in ways that did not upset me. My experience actually made me realize that the way past doctors were asking questions made me shut down. The walls I was putting up really limited the care I was able to get because I did not disclose all of my symptoms accurately. Cultural competency training is not just relevant in the context of treating gay patients. I genuinely believe that it helps treat all patients better. For that reason, I continue to seek out physicians who have gone through it.