Quick gender inclusive updates you can make to your medical intake forms TODAY!
For doctor's offices and other medical professionals, we may need to know some or all of your medical history. This information can absolutely be asked in a gender inclusive manner! Further, it should be. When you don't update your forms and intake processes, you risk triggering the uncomfortable and sometimes distressing feeling of gender dysphoria. As helping professionals, it is our responsibility to set our clients up for a comfortable, safe healthcare experience.
First, do think about the relevance of each of these questions as you asked it.
For example, you may want to know who lives in the home if you're prescribing an augmentative communication device, so you know what caregivers are available to train, but that information likely isn't relevant for cleaning their teeth. If you have a question you asked that might be uncomfortable and you've never referenced or referred back to this information, and aren't required to know it legally, it might be better to leave it off entirely. Do you need to know what sex someone was assigned at birth if you're prescribing hearing aids, or only their legal sex for filing for reimbursement with insurance? If you're measuring your client for shoe inserts do you need to know what their relationship status is? If you're recommending a vitamin supplement they're privately paying for, do you need to know what their legal name is, or just the name they use? I can't answer these questions for you- but I encourage you to be intentional about what you include.
Best Practice for Gender Inclusive Medical Intake Forms
IF you need to know this information
Sex assigned at birth
- Female, male, intersex
- Same, female, male.
- If legally available in your location, intersex, X, other, or any other option legally available
- This is a good one for a fill in blank space, as there are a lot of options here. To give you an idea why gender is best left as a fill in: female, male, trans woman, trans man, trans feminine, trans masculine, two spirit, dual gender, pangender, agender, non-binary, gender fluid, gender queer, and non-gender conforming and more might be your client's gender.
- There are a lot of possibilities, so I find it easiest to just leave a blank. If you wish to list options to select include she/her/hers, they/them/theirs, he/him/hers and leave a blank for adding their pronouns if different
- Avoid using the word preferred here, as pronouns are not preferred anymore than gender is preferred)
- You can state name/nickname, or preferred name, or just name. Provide spaces for first, middle, and last names. Some people have long names, so give plenty of space.
Legal name, if different
- Unless you're looking to receive past medical history that was under a different name, you shouldn't need to know their deadname (name used prior to legally changing their name to something else)
Finally, please note that this blog post was written March 19, 2021, and terminology is rapidly involving in the area of gender and sex terminology. It is best practice to review your forms regularly.