Independent Student’s Guide to Healthcare
Helpful Nutrition Resources
[resource list coming soon]
Tips for students and other visitors to UHS who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer.
We invite you to talk openly and honestly with UHS staff. When you make an appointment, we will ask you questions that will help us provide the best care and ensure that you will have enough time during your visit to get your needs met. We hope you will feel comfortable to disclose enough information to our staff so they can best help you.
During your visit, you may be asked questions that could be hard to discuss, so you may want to prepare in advance to answer questions that are relevant to your reason for visit, which may include your family health history and your own health history and behaviors, including use of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs, sexual behavior, and domestic violence. The clinician’s request for sensitive information is part of the UHS experience for all patients/students when establishing a professional working relationship, regardless of an individual’s sexual orientation/gender identity, in order to provide the best services and care for each person.
All UHS services are confidential by law. See confidentiality for details.
Prepare for your visit:
Lots of people get nervous and their minds go blank in health care situations, so it may be helpful to prep a little. You can make the best use of your time by writing down questions and bringing them to your visit.
Keep your own documentation:
Maintaining copies of your health information is a good way to take ownership of your body, health and health care. Keep a record of what happened at each visit plus anything you want to follow up on.
Give us your feedback:
We hope that you have a good experience when you come to UHS.. We invite you to tell us about your experience, because feedback provides us an important learning opportunity and helps us determine ways to improve our services and procedures as well as recognize where we are doing good work (and should keep doing it)! We address all complaints, and the more specific you are, the better we will be able to fix the problem. If you choose to include your name and a means to contact you, we will follow up with you. You can provide feedback online. Your feedback will be shared with appropriate staff.
For Trans and Genderqueer individuals
For billing and reimbursement, it is important to understand that your selection of sex in the medical record needs to agree with the sex the payer (e.g. health insurance) has on file in order to avoid claim rejections. If you are confused about this process, please ask your provider to clarify what is on file to ensure more effective insurance coverage.
Our electronic medical record system has a place in your file to note your “sex”, “gender identity” (which includes: male, female, transmale, transfemale, transgender, gender non-conforming, and other identity not listed), and “sex assigned at birth.” If you think it would be helpful to have these categories appropriately noted in your file, please ask the student health services coordinator or one of our nurse practitioners during your session.
The University Health Services can initiate hormone therapy and provide medical management for patients on stable cross-sex hormone regimens. This is a specialty service that is offered to undergraduate and graduate students including law students.
- If you are a student seeking assistance managing your current hormone regimen, please call University Health Services at 202.274.5030.
- Read more about: Initiating hormone therapy at University of the District of Columbia – University Health Services
UHS aligns with WPATH guidelines and standards of care to enhance safety and success for our patients. We acknowledge that this may require a number of visits and assessments, all designed to provide you with the best care and to help you meet your needs and goals during this process. When scheduling your appointments, please make sure that the staff member is aware that this is an appointment associated with hormone initiation or management. This will ensure that you get the right appointment time with the right person! Please see below for more information about our 3 step process:
- Make an appointment with the UDC Counseling Center 202.274.6000.
- Patients will participate in a comprehensive mental health assessment. This session(s) will include an assessment of the patient’s personal and treatment history as well as prepare and refer the patient to the next steps in this process.
- If a patient has an outside Mental Health professional who is providing the WPATH recommended letter of hormone readiness, the letter must include:
- The client’s general identifying characteristics;
- Results of the client’s psychosocial assessment, including any diagnoses;
- The duration of the referring health professional’s relationship with the client, including the type of evaluation and therapy or counseling to date;
- An explanation that the criteria for hormone therapy have been met, and a brief description of the clinical rationale for supporting client’s request for hormone therapy;
- A statement that the referring health professional is available for coordination of care and welcomes a phone call to establish this.
- For patients using Mental Health Services at UDC’s Counseling Center for their assessment, this letter may not be necessary. Rather, the required information will documented in your confidential medical chart.
- Make an appointment to discuss informed consent required for initiation of hormone therapy. Contact University Health Services at 202.274.5030.
- Make a medical appointment. Contact University Health Services at 202.274.5030.
- The initial appointment will include a basic assessment, a detailed medical history, goal setting, and blood work (a patient cannot begin hormones until blood work has been reviewed – therefore a patient may opt to get their blood drawn before this appointment).
- Depending on medical clearance, patients typically initiate hormones within 3 visits. A patient is not required to have a physical at their first appointment but will be required to have one within the first three visits.
- Your medical provider will discuss your personalized plan to assist you in meeting your goals and needs in a safe manner.
- An Informed Consent for hormone therapy must signed by all patients initiating or continuing management at UHS prior to medication prescriptions being dispensed or written.
We are proud that Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) benefits include coverage for gender confirmation procedures and/or treatments. The University Health Services is able to provide hormone therapy, but is not a surgical medical facility. If you are seeking a surgical facility, please speak with your medical provider or insurance company for referrals.
We know that insurance information can be confusing. For general SHIP insurance questions, please to call our student health services coordinator 202.274.5030.
Gender-Neutral Restrooms in the Health Center
Single stall, gender-neutral lockable restrooms are located throughout the Health Center. Gender-specific multi-user restrooms are located in various locations around the university.