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Inclusive Primary Care on the Palouse

Dr. Kaz Brodsky, a family medicine and obstetrics physician, provides care for patients with compassion and understanding. Today, he discusses more about how he partners with LGBTQ+ individuals and their families to meet their health journey goals.

Inclusive Primary Care on the Palouse
Kaz Brodsky, MD

Dr. Kaz Brodsky is a family medicine doctor who is from east Texas and received his training at Texas A&M. In addition to family medicine, he will also be providing obstetrics. His outside interests include playing the guitar, watching the Green Bay Packers play football, and “nerding out over all things Star Wars.”


Deborah Howell (Host): You know, we'd all like to think that all medical care is the same for everybody, but is there a way we can think about being more inclusive when it comes to primary care for those in the LGBTQ Plus community? That's the question we'll explore today. To talk about inclusive primary care on the Palouse, today, we're joined by Dr. Laura Baker, a Family Medicine Physician at Pullman Family Medicine. Welcome Dr. Baker.

Kaz Brodsky, MD (Guest): Thanks for having me.

Host: It's wonderful to have you with us today. So what's included in LGBTQ Plus Services.

Dr. Brodsky: Well, there are a lot of the things that are the same as any primary care, which includes routine preventative care, sexual and reproductive health. But then on top of that, there's just gender and sexual orientation affirming care, meaning that we take extra time to make sure that we understand the nuances of every specific patient. We do provide gender affirming hormone treatment as well as surgical referrals and required letters for gender affirming surgeries.

Host: Good to know. And what drives your personal passion for this area of care?

Dr. Brodsky: As a member of the LGBTQ Plus community, myself, I'm really passionate about other queer individuals getting good medical care. It has been very disheartening to see the number of people in the LGBTQ Plus community who have either been denied care or received poor care due to their gender identity or sexual orientation. So, I'm here trying to fill some of that void and provide good care for those patients.

Host: Excellent. What are some of the barriers and hurdles for LGBTQ Plus patients and how are we working to eliminate those?

Dr. Brodsky: From my experience, one of the biggest ones is ignorance, honestly. In the medical community, there are many residency training programs and medical schools that really don't even touch on LGBTQ Plus care. I did my residency training in Texas and it was mentioned exactly zero times. And so there was no training or formal education on the matter. And so all of my learning that I have done has been on my own since then. And so I think that a lot of LGBTQ Plus patients are fighting against the ignorance of the medical community when they're trying to advocate for themselves to get appropriate care, but the doctors or APPs don't really know what to do or how to care for them.

And so it ends up being a really big deficit. So, really the ways that we're working to eliminate this is education, education, education. So, not only us teaching ourselves and doing the work outside of formal education to learn what research is out there and what evidence is out there, but also educating others. And really trying to advocate for the patients ourselves and making sure that we can provide a safe space where they're seen, they're known, they're understood, and they're not having to fight for themselves just to get basic medical care.

Host: Right. Now, what types of support services are available for the LGBTQ Plus community on the Palouse?

Dr. Brodsky: Well, there are multiple affirming physicians and mental health providers that are in this area, as well, as a couple of LGBTQ Plus organizations like Inland Oasis and P Flag. There are also, WSU and University of Idaho, both have many resources on their respective websites. If you're a student and, want to check those out as well, they have specific campus resources.

Host: Well, that's good. And hopefully it'll start becoming the norm to have some educational itinerary around this issue. Now, how has including these care avenues into your practice shaped your philosophy of care?

Dr. Brodsky: Well, gender affirming care specifically can be life-changing and even lifesaving. And so it's been really interesting because it's easy as a doctor to get into the mindset of telling a patient what you think is best for them. But with gender affirming care, listening to and prioritizing a patient's goal is actually the most important thing.

And so that's been a really unique mind shift to look at what really are the patient's goals and how can I come alongside them and help support them in achieving those goals. And so I've actually seen that spill over into my care of other patients as well, where I'm not just trying to dictate what I think is best for the patient, but really trying to hear them and listen to what their goals are for their care.

Host: So it's helping you in many regards and helping them as well. Now, what can community members do to support these groups?

Dr. Brodsky: Educate yourself. There are many resources out there to learn about the LGBTQ Plus community. You could also reach out to those specific organizations I mentioned, volunteer time or donate. The other biggest thing that I think can be very helpful for community members, is just get to know people in the LGBTQ Plus community. If you don't know any queer individuals and it's time to start broadening your horizons because we are out there and it can really help you understand the perspective of individuals in the LGBTQ Plus community when you know some personally.

Host: Yeah, and get their pronouns right, right?

Dr. Brodsky: Exactly. Yes.

Host: Now, inclusive care is a core value of Pullman Regional Hospital and the clinic network. How do you see that displayed at Pullman Family Medicine?

Dr. Brodsky: Here at Pullman family medicine, we really try to make a point to use gender inclusive terminology. Our staff are continually being trained and reminded of the importance of using correct pronouns and names. And we also make every effort to care for each patient to the best of our abilities, no matter their age, race, sexual orientation, gender identity, political affiliation, et cetera.

Host: You know, a lot of people roll their eyes when people say, please call me them. What would you say to that person rolling their eyes.

Dr. Brodsky: It's really very simple. You know, when we don't know somebody's gender, we often refer to them as them. And so it's not that difficult to refer to an individual as them if that their preference, it doesn't hurt you one bit. Is really incredibly beneficial to that individual. And it is actually correct grammar because like I said, if we don't know somebody's gender, we don't refer to them as he or she, we refer to them as them.

Host: Right. Not that hard. What do you want to patient considering care to know?

Dr. Brodsky: Really just that we're here for you and you're not alone. It is possible to get good medical care. And if you don't have support from friends or family, then you really can find your chosen family here on the Paloose. There are so many members of the LGBTQ Plus community here who would love to take you in and be part of your family. So reach out to me, I'd be happy to help connect you, or find those resources for you.

Host: And how can people make an appointment with you?

Dr. Brodsky: So I work at Pullman Family Medicine and our phone number is (509) 332-3548.

Host: You know, I feel better just having spoken to you. I can only imagine how members of the LGBTQ Plus community feel about knowing that they're going to be seen. They're going to be heard and they're going to be treated just like everyone else. Thank you so much, Dr. Baker, we so appreciate your time and for everything you do. Thanks for being with us today.

Dr. Brodsky: Yes, thanks for having me.

Host: And you can learn more about this subject, providers and services at Pullman Regional Hospital online at This has been the Health podcast from Pullman Regional. I'm your host, Deborah Howell. Thanks for listening and have yourself a terrific day.