Avoiding Gender Identity Discrimination In Your Office

Many gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered (LGBT) people experience discrimination or bias when attempting to receive health care. Legalities aside, many dentists want to do their very best to make all patients feel welcomed into the practice. If that is your goal, consider how your dental office can take a few simple steps to eliminate unintentional hurdles and make your patients feel accepted for who they are.

What are some things you can do to give your LGBT patients a more comfortable and thoughtful experience?

  • Add a blank space as an option to the gender portion of your patient intake form, allowing for self-identification, which may help capture better information about transgender and gender non-conforming patients.
  • Train all staff in office standards of respect towards transgender people, including: using their chosen name, and referring to a patient by their chosen pronoun.
  • Have an open dialogue with a patient about their gender identity/expression and/or sexual orientation.