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Assessing Your Office for Care of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Patients

Coren, Joshua S. DO, MBA; Coren, Chad M. PsyD, Med; Pagliaro, Sara N. DO; Weiss, Lucia Beck MS

doi: 10.1097/HCM.0b013e3182078bcd

Practitioners act as guide, protector, and confidant to their patients' most vulnerable health care concerns. Arguably, one of the most important times to consider the dynamics of a health care relationship is when treating culturally diverse populations such as lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) patients. This article outlines several recommendations for how physicians can begin the process of assessing their office and practice habits for supportive care of LGBT patients, including evaluating your belief systems, understanding risk factors associated with LGBT patients, modifying medical intake forms and interview practices, reviewing staff training and office procedures, and becoming familiar with available tools and resources. With several minor but effective changes, you can offer your LGBT patients a practitioner who is (1) knowledgeable of relevant LGBT health care and basic human sexuality, (2) mindful and sensitive to the needs of diverse sexual and gender identities, and (3) capable of making interpersonal and office-related adjustments for the purpose of providing them with the best possible medical care.

Author Affiliations: Department of Family Medicine, School of Osteopathic Medicine, University of Medicine and Dentistry, New Jersey (Drs J. S. Coren and Pagliaro and Ms Weiss).

Correspondence: Joshua S. Coren, DO, MBA, Department of Family Medicine, School of Osteopathic Medicine, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Suite 2100A, 42 E Laurel Rd, Stratford, NJ 08084 (

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.