PRIDE MONTH: FOCUS ON LGBTQ HEALTHCARE

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By: Michelle Blan

As the PRIDE month comes to the end, we would like to spotlight talented people who make a difference in the community. Some people waste their whole lives trying to find that one thing that can bring fulfillment and sustainability. And, many of those individuals never find it. This is the story of someone who did.

Dr. Crystal Beal, MD is one of the many great Experts here with XpertCare. But their approach to medicine and their patients is what sets them apart. See, their ties to the LGBTQ+ community have always followed them personally, but now they have become the drive of their practice professionally.

THE JOURNEY.

This journey starts small and ordinary, actually. Dr. Beal took a position filling in for a Family Medicine Physician at Group Health/Kaiser Permanente who had taken a year off work. No big deal, right? But, then something started to happen. In the midst of a full day-to-day schedule and a developed rapport with their colleagues, they began receiving more and more patients who were seeking gender care. With medical training that somehow failed to provide gender affirming care, Dr. Beal became fueled by the desire to learn all they could to help the endless stream of patients that found their way to them. Reading, watching training webinars, CME, shadowing, and even attending consult groups all paved the way for Dr. Beal to gain the knowledge they needed to meet their new clients right where they needed them.

Some would cry tears of joy. Others would cry with relief.

Dr. Beal found their calling.

THE PROBLEM.

Ask just about anyone and you will hear the general consensus is that our healthcare system is greatly flawed for many different reasons. For years Dr. Beal has heard the heartbreaking stories about the awful care their friends in the LGBTQ+ community received from doctors and other medical professionals. Plus, they know just how staggering the statistics are – they live itevery day!

“1 out of every 3 [gender diverse people] reports at least one negative experience related to being transgender…”
“1 out of every 4 delay care because of all the obstacles…” due to the lack of acknowledgment of the needs of gender diverse individuals by the entire healthcare system.

In a world that is struggling to understand what those in the LGBTQ+ community have been trying to say for years, insurance companies surely aren’t up to par. Combine this withdoctors who are uneducated about this population and you end up with…

Fear.

Discrimination.

Inability to access competent providers.

Lack of insurance coverage for lifesaving treatments.

THE SOLUTION.

The above words and phrases have no place in healthcare. And, the use of them in no way upholds the ethics of the medical profession. Yet, it is the reality. Our reality. “My passion is to raise the bar in gender affirming care and make it more accessible to all.” As someone who is willing to mix a lot of compassion with a big splash of courage, Dr. Beal is a leader in their field that is sure to be followed.

Dr. Beal is working hard to bridge the gap. They want to right the wrongs, heal the hurt, and minimize past scars. They want to help their patients live the life they were born to live with medicine designed specifically to meet that need.

“We should not only expect our providers to treat us with decency and respect, but also expect them to know our healthcare needs.” And that, my friends, should never be too much to ask for.

FINAL THOUGHTS.

Dr. Beal, you are quite an exemplary medical professional for all those who have become fearful of the healthcare system. It is no doubt the transparent, personal manner in which you present yourself publicly and professionally that brings peace and comfort – especially to those who have dealt with so much discrimination and heartbreak in seeking the medical treatment they deserve.

If you ask Dr. Beal what their message is to the world, this is what they’ll tell you: “Queer rights are human rights. Trans rights are human rights.” And everyone should have the right tothe best opportunities for healthcare and medical needs.

If you or someone you love is in need of gender affirming care, contact XpertCare and schedule a consultation with Dr. Beal today! Don’t let your past medical experiences stop you from living a healthy future.

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