How can I support my agency when talking to practitioners?

Intentional Sharing

  • We can be conscious about what and how much we choose to share with practitioners. Here is how one person worked through this challenge.
    • “At some point, I realized I don’t owe them that explanation [about my gender]. Now, I will only talk about it if it is relevant to the treatment I am receiving. Otherwise, I just let them be uncomfortable. I’ve learned that I need to protect my own comfort before I try to protect the comfort of providers. I’m not going to be mean to them. There’s a point, where you have to think about what you need from these people because it’s supposed to be healthcare for you.

Navigating Discomfort

  • If we are uncomfortable answering a practitioner’s question, we can consider:
    • Asking for more time (e.g. I’d like some time before I answer.)
    • Declining (e.g. I’m not comfortable answering that.)
    • Asking about the relevancy of the question (e.g. Do I need to answer? Can you share why that is relevant for my care today?)
    • Asking about the impacts of your answer (e.g. How might my answer impact my treatment? What are the legal implications involved?)