Sometimes you might feel uncomfortable seeking health care because of a fear of homophobia. This can make it harder to seek health care when you need it. This problem may be compounded if you are a person of color and fear racial prejudice. Health Services works hard to be a safe space for LGBTQ students to seek appropriate, sensitive, non-discriminatory health care.
What you can expect
On a visit to Health Services you can expect to receive comprehensive care that is sensitive to you as an LGBTQ person and knowledgeable about health care concerns you might have. This includes, but is not limited to, concerns you might have about sexual health and sexuality. Questions about sexual activity are not intended to stereotype you and are not based on assumptions about how you behave. Rather, they're a standard part of care at Health Services. A good medical provider will ask questions about your health behavior in a sensitive way, not making any assumptions, but assessing your level of risk. However, if you ever don't feel comfortable answering a question, just say so. Remember that your visits to Health Services are covered by medical confidentiality laws.
You play an integral part in the health care you receive. Communicating openly and honestly with your medical provider is an important way to receive comprehensive and sensitive medical care. This includes talking about issues like sex and gender identity. It's also important that you feel like you can ask questions of your provider. We suggest that you find a provider at Health Services that you feel comfortable with to take the lead on your medical care. While all providers are available to you, this provider can come to know your history well, and, by building a relationship with this provider, you will optimize your health care and feel safer discussing your concerns and issues. You can ask around about which providers your friends use or make a point of meeting different providers when you schedule appointments. You can always request a specific Health Services provider by name or request a provider by gender. Here is a list of Health Services providers with pictures and bios.
Prepare for your visit
One way to approach a trip to Health Services if you're nervous is to do some research before you come in. Check out any of our pages on common college health issues and concerns that may be relevant for you. If you are coming for a gyn visit, you can learn more about what to expect here. If you are coming in for STI testing, you can learn more here. If you have questions for your provider, write them down and bring them in -- sometimes it's hard to remember all of your questions once you're in the exam room. Remember that you can tell your provider that you are nervous and they can help you through the questions.
Finally, patient comments are very important to UHS. If you have any feedback, good or bad, please fill out a patient survey, which is sent regularly after visits and is also available on the Health Services website. We address all complaints, and the more specific you are, the better UHS will be able to fix the problem. If you choose to leave your name, they will follow up with you.
Health Services is located at 13 Brown Street on the corner of Brown and Charlesfield Streets. Call 401.863-3953 to make an appointment.