DocLIst - Because Lesbian and Bisexual women patients want good doctors.
We want doctors who
are caring and competent. We want to be respected by our doctors, and
we want to feel that our consultations with a doctor are a place in
which we are safe and are not judged. We want our doctors to
demonstrate that they are comfortable with our sexual orientation, and
have some knowledge of how our sexual orientation impacts on our health
issues. We want them to realise that sexual orientation is not just
about our sexual behaviour, but about who we love, how we identify, and
with whom we socially interact.
Some lesbian and bi women patients are not open about their
sexual orientation with their doctor. Some feel it is not important for
their doctor to know what kind of relationships they have or what
communities they belong to, while others are not ‘out’ to their doctor
because they cannot guarantee a positive response.
patients have found a doctor they can be ‘out’ to, and this can mean
they get better health care because they don’t withhold information
about the important relationships in their lives.
What is ALMA?
The Australian Lesbian Medical Association (ALMA) is a network
of around one hundred lesbian doctors and medical students from all
over Australia. ALMA is contacted frequently by women patients wanting
recommendations of a lesbian/bi-friendly doctors in their area. In
response to this need, a group of ALMA members decided to start the
Doctors Recommended by Lesbians and Bi women patients project.
How does DocLIST work?
We are making a list of doctors recommended by lesbians and bi women
patients all over Australia. Some of these doctors are themselves
lesbian or bisexual, while many are heterosexual but are
lesbian/bi-friendly. At the top of the list it clearly state that the doctors on the list are not necessarily lesbian/bi women. ALMA does not
guarantee the quality of medical service provided by these doctors.
Rather, these doctors have been recommended by lesbian and bi women
patients patients as doctors with whom they feel comfortable being open
about matters to do with their sexual orientation.
For a doctor to be included on the list, ALMA requires a
recommendation from at least one lesbian / bisexual woman (see other
criteria below). Once a recommendation is received, ALMA will write to
the doctor informing them about the project (without disclosing the
person who recommended them) to ask if they consent to be on the list.
The list is available online at www.doclist.com.au, where it is updated and maintained by members of ALMA.