Midwestern University – AZCOM 3-11-19

Creating a Safe and Welcoming Environment for LGBTQ+ Patients

On March 11, Dr. Holt had the honor of presenting two workshops on the Midwestern University – Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine campus.

These interactive workshops dove into how to make the healthcare setting a safe and welcoming environment for LGBTQ+ patients, including the impact of the waiting room, intake forms, and patient interactions. In addition to discussing what LGBTQ+ patients are at higher risk for, we discussed how to start conversations on sensitive topics, such as sexual health, trans health, coming out, and LGBTQ+ suicide risks. These workshops included a robust Q & A session as well as roleplaying.

The audience consisted of students who were interested in learning more about LGBTQ+ health. All attendees received signed copies of Coloring Book for Healers.

The following comments are from students who attended one of Dr. Holt’s workshops:

Excellent advice on how to open the discussion of LGBT issues with patients. I learned how to welcome LGBT patients and make them feel at ease and deliver the best care possible.

Great session. The verbiage was very useful. It was helpful to learn nonjudgmental phrases to use to get the info I need and build a rapport. I learned how to address and make LGBTQ people feel welcoming in my future practice.

Very inspiring. It gave me a lot of hope for practicing LGBTQ+ friendly medicine in the future. The information was presented in such an open and accepting fashion and answered a lot of questions I had about how to go about it. I will make a point to introduce myself using my pronouns and live genuinely, so that I can inspire others as you have with me.

This was very informative and gave me a lot to think about in terms of how I want to conduct my future practice. It’s easy to forget the privilege of walking into a healthcare setting and feeling comfortable automatically. There are small but significant things I can put in place to help create a more welcoming and comfortable environment for my future LGBTQ+ patients. I learned to open dialogue with a future patient in a way that will be affirming and create a sense of safety, but will also allow me to provide the highest quality of care possible.

As a gay man, I felt even more welcome and comfortable during the presentation since the speaker was openly gay. I liked how he composed himself while talking about topics of sexual orientation. I am debating whether to become more open about my sexual orientation socially and in my career and hope to use this presentation as motivation in the process. The most important thing I learned is how important the “waiting room” reception is to make the person feel at ease from the get go. This is what I realized from the start during Dr Holt’s presentation and felt very at ease.

Great talk. I enjoyed the role playing exercises and learned a lot about conversing from a physician’s standpoint. I learned communication techniques and how to normalize conversations. These techniques will be important in establishing great patient trust.

This talk will greatly influence how I practice medicine and take care of my patients in the future. I feel 100x more confident welcoming an individual into my office and how to address them and risk factors they have. I will be more open-ended in questions I ask and how to address their concerns at different times.

Thank you for this presentation! I’ve learned a lot and think the med school curriculum could benefit greatly with more sessions like this. I learned how to be more welcoming/accepting to LGBTQ patients in practice; and how to present myself to patients to address issues LGBTQ patients may have.

This was very helpful. This is the talk I wish our school had given us on LGBTQ issues. It is very helpful having a rundown of what issues to be aware of. I learned we have some very concrete ways to talk to our patients and open up conversations.

Very helpful in how to make LGBTQ patients feel welcome, so they can get the best overall care. I learned to make my patients feel comfortable to share whatever they need to in an environment that welcomes all.

Great. More confident in my history taking. The stories are the best. I learned how to make a comfortable environment besides just being open and honest and available to patients.

Very good start to learning more; like the ideas of things to say with the specific examples; and gives me an idea to start going forward before habits are formed. I learned how to open the door for a conversation to begin.

Very educational and eye opening. I learned a lot. I learned to tell a patient that they are safe here and with me.

I learned direct tools in my future practice for creating an open environment; the ability to start a conversation to make any type of person feel comfortable; and there are simple ways to provide inclusive care.

This is so needed as part of the regular medical education. I learned setting the stage in your waiting room is hugely important. I will get a rainbow pin.

I knew members of the LGBTQ+ community were at greater risk for mental health and other health related concerns, but I was not aware of just how much. It makes me want to put a greater effort towards treating that community to help them achieve greater health and wellness. I learned how to have a conversation about difficult topics and being honest; how to give options; and make sure they are comfortable to talk.

I’ll be more more aware of this community. I’ll also feel more comfortable in treating them should they be my patient and in how to address them and their concerns. I learned to admit when you don’t know something and to give options to the patient.

This talk brought a lot of awareness and insight to special concerns in the LGBTQ+ community and gave me a better understanding of how I can better care for them. Being direct with LGBTQ+ patients is a good way to build trust, and it’s okay to work together with trans patients to learn how you can be a better physician for them.

This will help me know how to better navigate situations involving any of my patients in the LGBTQ community. One of the best things you can do for your patients is to be open with them and to make them feel comfortable opening up with you.

This educated me on how to approach LGBTQ patients in clinical scenarios. I learned nonverbal inclusivity in a major aspect of care.

I learned a lot about how to approach these important conversations. Really appreciated the information. Will strategize to incorporate info for my future practice.

I will be open and welcoming with my patients. Made are realize how important subtle details can be to my patients. I learned to show that I am accepting all my patients regardless of how they identify.

I learned making sure patients know that you appreciate their identity; keeping your questions open ended; not even asking question just making open ended talking points; how I can make patients more comfortable and how easy it is for me to make a patient feel respected and welcomed.

I didn’t consider the little details like a waiting room and how they influence a patient experience. The little details in intake form, waiting room, a pin, etc, are really all it takes to open a door into LGBTQIA+ sexual history.

I learned how to be a better future physician for all my patients; the use of gay vs queer; learning how to invite an LGBTQ+ patient to discuss their experiences; and how to be welcoming verbally and physically to LGBTQ patients.

This talk made me more aware of how I can approach and talk to patients rather than rely on the patient to do all the hard work. I learned how to open up conversations, subtle ways to make patients more comfortable, and new way to approach/think about LGBTQ patients!

I’ll be more open, welcoming, and normalize things more. I learned the importance of verbal and non-verbal cues in providing a welcoming environment for frank discussions.

Helps me understand how to better serve LGBTQ community and shows that I am welcome to them. Ask open ended questions! Very different from what we are traditionally taught, but very important to get the real info.

I learned setting up waiting room and intake forms; and how to bring up LGBTQ health issues in way that won’t make the patient feel uncomfortable or are awkwardly direct/ inadvertently offensive.

Will pay more attention to clinic/hospital setting and waiting room and make it more inclusive and friendly to all. I’ll introduce myself with pronouns and ask how they’d like to be addressed – this creates a safe space and the patient will be more inclined to open up.

Establishing rapport early (as early as giving options on an intake form) can create a welcoming experience that opens the door for a strong physician/patient relationship. Whether LGBTQ+ or not, every patient wants and desires to feel safe and comfortable trusting their doctors.

I learned how to open the door, improve intake process, set stage for comfortable waiting space, and encourage use of pronouns.

This talk will help me understand the language/pronouns/issues to use/address when serving the LGBTQ community.

Be aware from beginning as soon as visit starts; acknowledge their gender and what they want to identify as. I learned to assess their level of wanting to discuss it and to refer out if uncomfortable/not equipped to treat.

I will be more conscious with conventional proceedings/terms. I learned different methods to approaching sensitive topics in and outside the medical setting.

I will use this info to help create a safer and more comfortable environment for all my patients. I learned how to create a more inviting environment for LGBTQ people.