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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, January 1, 2016 - Volume 44 Issue 01
ASK DR. KEVIN!
Section One
ALL STORIES
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ASK DR. KEVIN!

by Kevin Wang, MD, Faculty
Swedish First Hill Family Medicine Residency Program
Special to Seattle Gay News

Hello there! I am thrilled and excited to introduce a new collaboration between Seattle Gay News and Swedish Medical Center featuring a monthly column discussing important primary care topics with an LGBTQ twist. Our topics will range from important immunizations to high blood pressure to PrEP (preexposure prophylaxis) to pregnancy (and newborn care). Please feel free to send in questions and suggestions for topics!

Before I begin to tell you why we're doing this, I'd like to give you a bit of background about myself and the team of great providers I work with at the Swedish First Hill Family Medicine Residency Program. I obtained my medical degree from the Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit, MI and completed my Family Medicine Residency training at Oakwood Annapolis in Wayne, MI. I also completed an additional year of subspecialty training in obstetrics to learn how to perform C-sections for my pregnant patients.

What was missing in my medical education, however, was any clear instruction on what we, as a medical profession, can do to provide comprehensive and culturally competent care for the LGBTQ community. Once I was hired by Swedish Family Medicine - First Hill, I made it my mission to have LGBTQ training included in our curriculum. We've partnered with some of our local experts including the Ingersoll Gender Center, Gay City, the Capitol Hill Medical Group, Simon Ellis from Cedar River Clinics and Dr. Kevin Hatfield from the Polyclinic to help train our residents to provide medically and culturally competent care to our LGBTQ community. As a Gay man and patient, it thrills me to see the level of interest we have from our residents and medical students.

In case you're wondering, family medicine physicians see a wide range of patient populations ranging from newborns to children to adolescents to adults and to our elder populations. We see people of all gender and gender identities and help manage chronic conditions including high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, depression, anxiety, and perform yearly health exams providing preventative services including cervical cancer screening. We also take care of pregnant patients offering outpatient prenatal care, hospital delivery and C-sections if indicated. In fact, our clinic has two family medicine physicians, Dr. Camille Fleming and myself, who are trained in C-sections.

Our residency program isn't the only one with this goal of providing better care for our LGBTQ community. Swedish Medical Center and Swedish's primary care clinics see the process of providing compassionate and competent care to the LGBTQ community as one of their priorities. Our clinic, as part of a pilot project to make our clinics a more welcoming space for the LGBTQ community, had its first Trans* cultural competency workshop where we invited Alison Davison to educate our staff and nurses. The training was most well received and the feedback we received from our Trans* patients was fantastic. One person even told us that she has never felt this safe and embraced in a clinic before. To me, that's a huge success and win for our Trans* patients!

So why are we doing this? We're doing this so that we can continue to support your journey towards emotional and physical well-being in a collaborative and culturally competent way. I know that we can do a better job of reaching out to my LGBTQ family and ask all of you to tell us what we can do to be better healthcare providers for you. We're hoping that, by working with Seattle Gay News, we can give you important health updates and to let you know what Swedish Medical Center is doing to become a better provider of healthcare to you and me.

If you have any questions or would like to respond to any issues raised in this column, I can be reached in care of the Seattle Gay News at sgn2@sgn.org - with ATTN: DR. KEVIN in the subject line.

Thank you for this great opportunity and we look forward to hearing from you!

If you're looking for a family medicine provider, please feel free to meet us at any of our residency clinics:

1. Swedish Family Medicine - First Hill, 1401 Madison St., Seattle, WA 98104. (206) 386-6111.

2. Swedish Family Medicine - Ballard (Swedish Community Health), 1801 NW Market St., Suite 403, Seattle, WA 98107. (206) 297-5100.

3. King County Public Health - Downtown Family Medicine, 2124 4th Ave., Seattle, WA 98121. (206) 477-8222.

Swedish Medical Group has a number of other primary care clinics in the Greater Seattle area as well.

Please visit www.swedish.org for additional details and locations.

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