Caring for LGBTQ patients at Broadlawns Medical Center

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DES MOINES, Iowa – June is Pride Month, a time to recognize those in the LGBTQ community and the barriers they’ve overcome. When it comes to healthcare, LGBTQ patients are often underserved and discriminated against. Doctors at Broadlawns Medical Center are working hard to make being treated there a positive experience for all patients.

“Every single day as an LGBTQ person you have to come out,” Lindsay Ladd, a patient at Broadlawns, said. “It might be to your coworker, it might be to someone at the grocery store when you’re getting flowers and they say ‘oh is that for your husband?’ and I say ‘no, it’s for my wife.’”

The doctor’s office is one place Ladd thinks she and others in the LGBTQ community should not have to constantly come out. She says it can be the questions on forms, improper pronoun usage, or awkward encounters with medical staff that can be triggering, unwelcoming, and turn LGBTQ people away from getting the medical attention they need.

Thankfully, Ladd found a doctor who’s inclusive and intentional in her care: Dr. Amy Bingaman.

“Once I learned that this patient population tends to be discriminated against, even in the healthcare setting, I became very passionate about providing them the same care that everyone receives and everyone deserves,” Dr. Bingaman said. 

Dr. Bingaman joined Broadlawns Medical Center’s OB/GYN Clinic back in January. Formerly known as the Women’s Health Clinic, Broadlawns recently made the name change to be more inclusive of the entire LGBTQ community.

“The trans population is the one that is particularly discriminated against in the healthcare setting. Those are also our patient population at highest risk for suicide and really need that safe place to come and seek medical care,” Dr. Bingaman explained.

Her colleague Dr. Kaaren Olesen also knows the struggles this population faces, and wants everyone to be able to receive the care they need.

“Living as an LGBTQ person is not a choice. Nobody chose that. It’s part of their DNA just like diabetes and cancer,” Dr. Olesen said, “and to discriminate against a person because of who they are is just unfair. Everybody should be able to be who they are, and live as they wish.”

Patients like Ladd are thankful to be finally seen as who they are.

“Everyone at Broadlawns treats you as an equal,  and that is everything that the LGBTQ community is looking for,” Ladd said. “We just want to be treated as equal. We don’t want to be treated any differently than anyone else, and that’s what Pride Month is all about, you know it’s the rights.”

These two physicians know this is a growing aspect of the medical field they’re in, and are prepared to care for this population whether it be gynecological services or family planning. They are currently taking new patients. If you’d like to learn more, click here.

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