A Call For Better Gay Men’s Health Education For Doctors

Hey there Guys. The importance of gay men’s health has been in the news with another Australian doctor being accused of substandard care of a gay male patient. As reported in Crikey a male student James Kent went to see Dr Rehana Dutton at the University of Canberra’s health and well being centre.

Kent reports mentioning to the doctor “thoughts about men” and asking if these were natural. He goes on to say that Dr Dutton questioned if this may be depression and suggested that it may be a hormonal imbalance.

Most disturbing is the reported discussion he might benefit in the use of a medical device called Implanon, a long term progesterone treatment used for contraception in women. This is well outside of normal prescribing practices with “rebalancing of hormones to stop thoughts about homosexuality” not in the product information when I reviewed it.

 Gay Men Need Experts In Gay Men’s Health

Sadly it is examples like this that remind me of the importance for gay men to see a doctor who is educated in gay men’s health.

Gay men’s health issues are significantly different to that of our straight counterparts. Sexual health testing is different. Gay men are at double the risk of depression, anxiety and suicide. Gay men are at significantly higher risk of a variety of cancers. Unfortunately gay men’s health is poorly taught at medical school so you need to find a doctor who is trained and interested in the area.

Sadly with doctors trying to offer treatments for “hormonal imbalances” that are supposedly causing homosexuality fighting homophobia in medicine can feel like we are fighting a losing battle.

If you are looking for a doctor who is interested in gay men’s health one of the best places to start is to ask your friends. Many will have a doctor they are happy with and their recommendations are a great place to start.

Other places to look are your local gay media and perhaps your local gay switch board. Don’t be afraid to ask if the doctor is trained in looking after gay men. I like to “audition” a doctor and get a feel if we are on the same wave length.

Your health is important! Don’t leave it in the hands of a doctor you don’t feel comfortable with who may not have your best interest at heart.

Yours in great health.

Dr George

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