Five interesting facts about the 2SLGBTQIA+ Neurology Clinic at UHN

Celebrating Pride Month, UHN Foundation is delighted to profile the 2SLGBTQIA+ Neurology Clinic at UHN’s Krembil Brain Institute. Since opening last year, the clinic continues to offer essential care that has previously been unavailable to the community. Below are five facts that outline what makes it such a vital resource.

  • Geared towards patients who identify as 2SLGBTQIA+ and live with neurological conditions
    The outpatient clinic provides inclusive, comprehensive, and individualized assessment and care to persons identifying as 2SLGBTQIA+ for a full range of neurological conditions. These include those that affect the brain, spinal cord and nerves.
  • Regarded as the first clinic of its kind in Canada
    Many people who identify as 2SLGBTQIA+ tend to have more negative experiences with the healthcare system than the general population. The community also has specific medical needs, often due to other issues that they are dealing with. For example, a woman of trans experience with epilepsy may be on hormone replacement therapy, which may affect the underlying condition and impact treatment options.
  • Higher risks support the need
    Recent investigations include one that found higher rates of stroke in lesbian, bisexual and transgender women. Another recognized higher rates of migraine in sexual minority men and transgender women. A further study found that LGBTQ+ patients with multiple sclerosis change neurologic care providers more often and are referred for psychological care less frequently than their cisgender, heterosexual counterparts.
  • Spearheaded by Krembil Brain Institute neurologist Dr. Koorosh Shirkool
    Dr. Shirkool believes that connecting with patients in an open, honest and accepting way will help them get the care they need, when they need it. He recognizes that many medical professionals do not get enough training as to how to approach people who come from different backgrounds than they are used to.
  • Promoted as a “safe space”
    Patients seen by the clinic have sometimes had previous experiences with physicians who have refused to address them by their new/chosen names or by their preferred pronouns – a painful experience for the patients. In contrast, the clinic offers a space that recognizes the need to ensure every patient knows that they are seen and respected, and communicates the importance of taking care of themselves and their health.

Contact information:
(Referrals are being solicited from across Ontario)

Location: Toronto Western Hospital West Wing – 5th Floor
Phone: 416 603 5232
Referral fax: 416 603 6402
Hours: Monday 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

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