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Treating Transgender Patients

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Treating Transgender Patients


Treating Transgender Patients

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Treating Transgender Patients

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HPSM is committed to providing high-quality health care to every member regardless of their age, race, nationality, religion, income, health status, sexual orientation or gender identity. This core value is codified in our anti-discrimination policy, which also applies to our providers. 

To treat people from different backgrounds respectfully, we must first understand how they want to be treated. With that in mind: 

Who are the “T” in “LGBTQIA+?” 

A transgender person is someone whose gender identity may differ from the sex they were assigned at birth. To help you and your office staff work well with transgender patients, we offer these five tips from the LGBTQIA+ experts at the San Mateo County Pride Center: 

  • Respect each patient’s gender identity Call patients by their chosen name and pronoun. You can create space for them to share their pronouns by saying, “My name is Juan and my pronouns are he/him/his. What about you?” 

  • Understand patients’ gender identity and sex During an assessment, you can ask, “What was your assigned sex at birth?” Don’t assume that patients’ gender identity is their primary concern and reason for seeking services. 

  • Don’t assume a patient’s sexual orientation or gender identity Transgender patients may consider themselves heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, pansexual, asexual, etc. 

  • Use gender-neutral language For example, say “Are you seeing anyone?” or “Who do you date?” rather than “Do you have a boyfriend/girlfriend?” Don’t assume  a patient’s gender identity. 

  • Respect patients’ confidentiality When discussing cases with peers or supervisors, mention patients’ gender identity only as it relates to the case. Do not state or imply that patients are transgender unless it is relevant to their care. 

Ways to help LGBTQIA+ clients feel welcome: 

  • Display LGBTQIA+ symbols (such as pride flags) in your office. 

  • Put pro-LGBTQIA+ magazines and brochures in your waiting room. 

  • Treat LGBTQIA+ clients with the same care and concern as any other patient. 

SSMC Pride Center logoan Mateo County Pride Center has a full range of programs, events and resources to support the  LGBTQIA+ community. They can also provide you and your staff with customized training to help you work well with LGBTQIA+ patients. Visit the Pride Center online and contact them at