5 Questions LGBTQ+ Patients Can Ask During Medical Exams

Summary: In honor of Pride Month, Asia Sullivan, PA-C — a Physician Associate who serves LGBTQ+ communities — shares 5 questions LGBTQ+ patients can ask their healthcare provider during medical exams.


1. How experienced are you with providing care to the LGBTQ+ community, specifically those who identify the way I do?

The queer and trans communities often have specific health needs that may be different from our heterosexual, cisgender counterparts. It’s important that your provider is both knowledgeable and comfortable providing this care.

2. What health screenings do you recommend for me?

Specific screenings may be necessary based on sexual activity or gender assigned at birth. For example, trans men may still need cervical pap smears and mammograms, and trans women may need prostate cancer screenings. Be sure to tell your provider about any relevant family history or surgical history. 

3. Are there any vaccinations I should get based on my sexual history?

You and your provider should discuss the need for vaccines like mpox, HPV, hepatitis A and B, meningitis, and maybe others.

4. What mental health resources are available to me?

The prevalence of mental health conditions like anxiety and depression is higher in our community due to unique stressors like fear, shame, and discrimination. Your provider should be able to point you to resources or professionals with expertise in this area.

5. How will you communicate my test results with me?

All people – not just queer people – should have access to their test results and health records and know how to contact their provider in case they have questions. If your provider uses a digital stethoscope,you can even see and hear your health data in real time and feel confident that it's protected by HIPPA.