It’s important for gay guys to choose the right doctor that meet their needs because their relationship with their health care provider may be one of the longest (and most intimate) relationships that they will ever have. So putting some energy up front into finding the right provider for you is often well worth the effort.
This section is focused primarily on finding a primary care doctor, but might be helpful when choosing other care providers.
Here are some general tips and advice as you take the next steps in choosing your doctor:
- Check out the Find a Doctor page on this site to search profiles of doctors recommended by other gay guys.
- Check out prospective doctors’ profiles on the Rhode Island Department of Health Board of Medical Licensure to see if they have any outstanding disciplinary actions.
- Make an appointment with the doctor’s office:
“Hi my name is ________, and I am looking for a primary care doctor. Can you let me know if Dr. ______ is accepting new patients, and if so, when is the next available appointment? Can you let me know what health insurance Dr. _______ accepts?”
- Write out a list of personal health questions/concerns and bring them to your first appointment and don’t be afraid to whip out the piece of paper and say to the doctor “I came prepared with a list of questions to go over with you…..” Check out this link for suggested topics to talk to your doctor about.
- Your doctor should be aware that you have sex with other men so that your health care needs are met. If he/she does not ask you about sexual health, or if you don’t feel comfortable volunteering that you have sex with men, this doctor is not right for you.
Getting Health Insurance in Rhode Island
Getting health care can be very expensive, so if you don’t already have medical insurance coverage, it’s a good idea to get some. The Office of the Health Insurance Commissioner has comprehensive information on health insurance options in Rhode Island.
In addition, you might want to learn more about the Rhode Island Health Benefits Exchange. The Rhode Island Health Benefits Exchange will serve as a robust resource for Rhode Islanders and Rhode Island businesses to learn about and easily compare the quality and affordability of their health insurance options, enroll in coverage and, if eligible, access subsidies for coverage. It opens in October of 2013, but you can go here for more information.