Magee Womens Hospital Breast Imaging Center

7 Nov

UPMC Magee Women’s Hospital
Breast Imaging Center, 3rd Floor
300 Halket St,
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
(412) 641-4700

What type of services does the provider practice?        

Mammogram/Ultrasound

Would you recommend this provider to others?              

Not if you are identifiable (visually, medically, legally, or otherwise) as transgender or visibly gender nonconforming. If you are a cisgender woman it may be fine

When was your last visit with the provider          

 0-5 months ago

Why did/do you see this provider?         

Current thyroid cancer, family history of breast cancer, obgyn wanted chest lumps imaged.

What was/is your experience making an appointment with this provider?           

Called The Office’s Scheduling and the person was nice and it was quick and painless.

Was/is the provider affordable?              

I have Medicare and Medicaid supplementation so I am covered but it is UPMC so you may not be.

Please describe your experience with the provider.       

I have doubted myself multiple times in analyzing this experience but have come to the conclusion that the experience was messed up. My bar for medical care as a trans person is not that high and I left this place feeling embarrassed and ashamed even when I did nothing wrong. I was already very anxious going to this appointment both because I was afraid my cancer had spread and because it was a gendered appointment and I am a transmasculine person who is read as male or very butch. Waiting rooms are always a mess but providers can make all the difference if they know what they are doing.

I was treated differently than all of the people there for imaging and not in a good way. Many of the men in the waiting room were staring at me without shame because they are rude- this is not the hospital’s fault but it was one of the worst gendered waiting room experiences I have had and it is relevant to the rest of the story. The front desk staff was nice to me.

When I was called back I asked to use the restroom and the nurse was visibly bothered by this request. The men’s restroom on the hospital floor was closed for renovations and the one on the floor below had the only stall taken. I have issues with walking far or standing for long, so I could not continue traveling the entire hospital trying to find a bathroom or I would miss my appointment. It was then I started to realize that these people were nervous having a trans person there for imaging and didn’t want the other people to see me.

Once she had me in the mammogram room, she spoke kindly to me and was good at the procedure. I do think she cared about making me comfortable. But, unlike everyone else who was given the chance to change into a robe in a private room, she just told me to undress. I am a person who does not swim without a shirt or really take my shirt off in front of anyone. So, I had to undress in front of her and just stand there for a while, as a trans person, shirtless with no robe. I have never had any medical professional do this (with the exception of pulling my shirt up for ECGs while laying down which is common) and everyone else in the place was wearing a robe.

After a very uncomfortable and awkward mammogram, I thought I would be walked back to the waiting area for imaging which is inside the center, stocked with a kitchen of snacks and drinks to make people waiting more comfortable. Instead, I was taken all the way out to the main waiting room again to do the walk of shame through all of the people wondering why someone like me was getting a mammogram. Again, this did not seem to happen with anyone else I saw and when I went with someone else in the past, none of these things happened with them. I told myself maybe it was just crowded, but this seemed to be a decision made to keep me separate from other patients.

They then brought me in again for my ultrasound, again had me undress in front of them but at least gave me a towel this time to cover myself. I had to wait for a while for the doctor to come in to do the ultrasound. She was again good at the procedure from what I could tell and good at diagnostics, but she was saying judgemental or inappropriate things about past surgeries or medical treatments (assuming everything in my medical history must be because I am trans and also showing ignorance about certain procedures) or asking irrelevant questions like what kind of trans surgeries I want in the future. Doctors do this to me a lot, it is always inappropriate, but this place already felt so uncomfortable it was worse.

When my lumps were found to be visibly benign (thankfully,) she told me to return when I am 40 because only people with higher risk and a family history need to come yearly. I reminded them again that my mother had breast cancer in her early 40s and that I currently have a thyroid cancer recurrence and I was told I AM higher risk. She responded with “oh well, if you’re sure about that age then…” Which seemed dismissive as it is all over my charts and all of the paperwork I filled out.

Trust me, I never want to come back again. Ever. But, I also don’t want (more) cancer. At this point, I am not going to go back in a year. I don’t want to experience this again even with my risk level.

The thing is, this is the longest review I have written on PHB and the only negative one. And it was hard to write because there are so many microaggressions- little things that add up that some people may not think matter. But, they matter. Especially when you are in a scared or vulnerable place in medicine. I don’t know if there is an alternative for trans people who breast/chest screening. I can’t guarantee that you going to another place will be any better even if your insurance allowed it. All I can say is consider bringing someone with you, practice advocating for your needs, and be prepared to possibly feel as if people are treating you like some sort of dangerous person that can’t be around cis women (I imagine trans women would not fare well here either unless they can pass as cis and being trans is not in their medical record.)

 Please describe your experience with the provider’s support staff (if applicable).            

See above.

What identities do you have?    

Queer, trans masculine (DFAB), often pass as gay guy or very butch woman, (mostly invisibly) disabled, mid-30s, average-ish? size with overweight-obese BMI, poverty line social security income, white.

Tell us if the provider or practice is especially good with a certain community, has special skills or services.           

It’s a women’s hospital but I don’t know which women that is limited to.

What can you share about this provider’s identities and/or the practice’s affiliations that may be important to their clients?               

The nurse and doctor were both white cis women of middle age I think.

What did you observe or experience about the accessibility of the practice?       

Magee Womens Hospital has handicapped spaces, mobility scooters, and valet parking (I can’t remember if that is free) and is about a block away from a Forbes Ave bus stop. Some bathrooms are closed for renovation. Some mens rooms have only one stall. Some doors are automated. It tends to have more security than other places because of the maternity ward. Can be more crowded than other hospitals sometimes.

 

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Noedahn Copley-Woods, MD

7 Jun

*This review was given verbally during an event, thus its brevity.

Noedahn Copley-Woods, MD
Magee-Womens Hospital
300 Halket Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

copleywoodsn@mail.magee.edu
412-641-4222

Gynecologist. Respectful, good with pronoun usage, was able to address a trans-specific health problem, works well with trans men and older women.

Jesse Gordon/Metro Community Health

7 Jun

*This review was given verbally during an event, thus its brevity.

Jesse Gordon
Metro Community Health Center
1789 S Braddock Ave #410
Pittsburgh, PA 15218
https://metrocommunityhealthcenter.org/
412-247-2310

She addresses what you want her to, you’re in charge. Gave the person info about getting testosterone and gave them time to read it, think about it. Transparent.

Susan Cherian/Psychologist

7 Jun

*This review was given verbally during an event, thus its brevity.

Susan Cherian
Psychologist
7455 Church St, Pittsburgh, PA 15218

(412) 242-5052

Respectful, open, works with sexual abuse survivors.

 

Patty Delaney/Nuin Center

7 Jun

*This review was given verbally during an event, thus its brevity.

Patty Delaney
Therapist
Nuin Center
5655 Bryant Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15206
773.865.3354
delaneyplcsw@gmail.com

Chill, gentle, nice gender therapist.

Dr. Xenia Borue, MD/Full Spectrum Psychiatry

7 Jun

*This review was given verbally during an event, thus its brevity.

Dr. Xenia Borue, MD
5877 Commerce St #216, Pittsburgh, PA 15206
(412) 345-1159

http://fspsychiatry.com/

Psychiatrist/Counselor. LGBT-friendly. Transitioning guidance, works with people on the autism spectrum. Moving to Millvale in June. Person had a good experience with this provider.

Mike Marshal

7 Jun

*This review was given verbally during an event, thus its brevity.

Mike Marshal
Gender Therapist
412-246-5663

Person had a good experience with Mike. Sees people under 21 free of charge.

Marie Engberg/Metro Family Practice

7 Jun

*This review was given verbally during an event, thus its brevity.

Marie Engberg
Metro Community Health Center
1789 S Braddock Ave #410
Pittsburgh, PA 15218
https://metrocommunityhealthcenter.org/
412-247-2310

“Super awesome!” Gave the person the informed consent form for hormone therapy so that they could take time and read it over. May be cutting her hours back.

 

Charles Esposito, LPC

12 May

Provider name: Charles Esposito, LPC
Practice name: Wisdom Within Counseling LLC
Address: 401 Shady Ave Ste C107 Pittsburgh, PA, 15206
Phone: (412) 357-4197
Website:
https://therapists.psychologytoday.com/rms/name/Wisdom+Within+Counseling,+LLC_Pittsburgh_Pennsylvania_184997

What type of services does the provider practice?        

 Mental Health

Would you recommend this provider to others?              

 Yes. Good communicator (scheduling and payments), nice office space, comfortable sharing about his own experience but doesn’t dominate the conversation, good at connecting things mentioned in previous visits to current visit, calm presence, has a lot of varied experience and technique to draw from, good at suggesting things withing being imposing, affirming of queer/trans experience, willing to get philosophical – develops interesting conversation.

When was your last visit with the provider          

 0-5 months ago

Why did/do you see this provider?         

 Feeling depressed and anxious. Looking for a provider who I could see during a very stressful time and also for maintenance.

What was/is your experience making an appointment with this provider?           

 Contacted through Psychology Today. Then connected over the phone to set up an initial appointment. I get email reminders about my appointments and sometimes communicate via text message.

Was/is the provider affordable?              

 I have UPMC insurance. We worked out a payment fee for each visit. The fee has only changed by $2 since starting (over 10 or so sessions). Someone else handles billing, so a couple times I got a bill for a slightly different amount, but that didn’t affect how much I paid. He’s okay with me paying in cash or check. Would be easier to pay with a card.

Please describe your experience with the provider.       

 I like seeing a counselor who identifies as gay. I like that he is ready to draw from a range of experiences, because my needs feel different during every session. I like that he takes good notes and follows back up on previous things said. I feel like he is paying attention. I enjoy being in the office space – decorations are thoughtful and there is natural light. He always offers me a glass of water. I stated that i ramble a lot and sometimes need to be redirected and he took that feedback and does in fact help me stay on track and not just gloss over feelings. He has validated my feelings about difficult family relationships in a way I haven’t really allowed myself to see before.

 Please describe your experience with the provider’s support staff (if applicable).            

 There are some other providers that meet in the same office. I haven’t interacted with them much at all.

What identities do you have?    

 30, queer, trans, man, white, insured

Tell us if the provider or practice is especially good with a certain community, has special skills or services.           

 He is fluent in Spanish (and Italian I think), sees a lot of patients of different faiths, LGBTQ-friendly

What can you share about this provider’s identities and/or the practice’s affiliations that may be important to their clients?               

 He is white, gay, grew up catholic, an artist, taught Spanish and Italian

What did you observe or experience about the accessibility of the practice?       

 The office is on the first floor of an accessible office building. There is an accessible gender neutral restroom on the same floor but not in the office itself. The office restroom is single-occupancy and not gendered.

Additional Information:

 

Dr. Matthew P. Harbaugh

12 May

Provider name: Dr. Matthew P. Harbaugh
Practice name: Penn Plum Family Medicine
Address: UPMC St. Margarets 100 Delafield Rd #108, Pittsburgh, PA 15215
Phone: (412) 795-7366
Website: http://findadoc.upmc.com/PhysicianBioQuery.aspx?EPCDID=157863

What type of medicine does the provider practice?        

Primary Care Practitioner

Would you recommend this provider to others?              

 Yes

When was your last visit with the provider          

0-5 months ago

Why did/do you see this provider?         

Migraines, General Checkup, Cold Sore Treatment

What was/is your experience making an appointment with this provider?           

I was suffering very vague and confusing symptoms. Dr. Harbaugh was extremely considerate and thorough in evaluating and determining the cause of them. Also very receptive and patient with any minor concerns I’ve had.

Was/is the provider affordable?              

 They accepted my UPMC insurance.

Please describe your experience with the provider.       

Very supportive and respectful in demeanor. I feel completely comfortable talking about any medical issue with this provider.

 Please describe your experience with the provider’s support staff (if applicable).            

 No complaints

What identities do you have?    

 White, Straight, 32, Female, Able-bodied

Tell us if the provider or practice is especially good with a certain community, has special skills or services.           

 Mentioned that he has treated new immigrants before

What can you share about this provider’s identities and/or the practice’s affiliations that may be important to their clients?               

 He is young, white and male.

What did you observe or experience about the accessibility of the practice?       

 Parking is $5 I believe

 

Dr. Mary Pat Friedlander

12 May

Provider name: Mary Pat Friedlander
Practice name: Lawrenceville Family Health
Address: Butler St. at 40th St., Pittsburgh PA 15201

Phone: 412-622-7343
Website: http://findadoc.upmc.com/PhysicianBioQuery.aspx?EPCDID=4537

What type of medicine does the provider practice?

Primary Care, Gynecology

Would you recommend the provider to others?

Yes. She doesn’t know much about alternative health, but Dr. Friedlander is very respectful, is a very good communicator, is a great listener. She trusts me and helps me with what I say I need without getting into any power struggles. She treats me like I’m the expert about my own body and yet shares helpful information and insights.

What can you share about this provider’s identities and/or the practice’s affiliations that may be important to their clients?

She’s white, middle aged, seems straight but seems very open and respectful. Don’t know how far her knowledge of eg LGBTQ or Black communities extends.

Why did you see this provider?

Check up, get answers to some questions.

What was your experience making an appointment with this provider?

Easy to make an appointment.

Was the provider affordable?

It’s a UPMC community health center so they take all forms of UPMC insurance and medical assistance. I think they still have a social worker that can get people signed up for reduced care but I’m not positive of that.

Please describe your experience with the provider:

Easy to get prescriptions and referrals, answers all questions thoroughly and without rushing, she’s also great at gyne exams (she teaches interns how to do them respectfully and properly). I always feel good when I leave visits with her.

Please describe your experience with the provider’s support staff:

Nurses respond really well and promptly to calls to the nurse’s line. They really help communication with the doctors.

What identities do you have?

White, 50s, female, queerish, don’t have physical disability, lower income, body not particularly big or small.

Please describe the accessibility of the practice for you:

Clinic seems very physically accessible. On bus line, free parking. Didn’t see any Braille, didn’t see signs for interpreters, didn’t notice materials in other languages but they may be around. I THINK they have the bathrooms as one room with both gender signs on it.

When was your last visit with this provider?

0-5 months ago

 

 

Dr. Emily Ketterer

13 Apr

Provider name: Dr. Emily Ketterer
Practice name: UMPC St. Margret Lawrenceville Family Health Center
Address, Pittsburgh, PA zip: Located at 40th and Butler next door to the Rite Aid3937 Butler St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15201

Phone: 412-622-7343
Website:  http://stmargarets.familymedicine.pitt.edu/person/emily-ketterer-md

What type of medicine does the provider practice?        

Family Practice/ Psychiatrist

Would you recommend this provider to others?              

 Yes

When was your last visit with the provider          

0-5 months

Why did/do you see this provider?

She is my PCP and helps me navigate lots of different things.

What was/is your experience making an appointment with this provider?           

 Its been getting a little more difficult lately, but she can see people at other sites.

Was/is the provider affordable?              

 Yes. They accept all insurances and I have MA

Please describe your experience with the provider.       

 Dr. Ketterer is interested and respecting. She is a feminist and happy to share that part of herself. She is trained in both family medicine and psychiatry which I found helpful. She is very efficient and reads records carefully. The wait is never long.

 Please describe your experience with the provider’s support staff (if applicable).            

Everyone is pleasant and quick.  

What identities do you have?    

I am a cys-gendered, white, queer, able bodied, college educated, english speaking, 29 year old.

Tell us if the provider or practice is especially good with a certain community, has special skills or services.           

 I don’t know.

What can you share about this provider’s identities and/or the practice’s affiliations that may be important to their clients?               

 White English speaking women.

What did you observe or experience about the accessibility of the practice?       

 Very accessible as far as I could tell.

Additional Information:

 I would recommend seeing this doctor if you need a solid PCP and a psychiatrist. I think she is 4th year resident, so I am not sure how long she will be staying.

Dr. Matthew Holtzman//Hillman Cancer Center

5 Apr

Dr. Matthew Holtzman
Hillman Cancer Center
UPMC Cancer Pavilion
Division of Surgical Oncology
Fourth Floor Suite 420
5150 Centre Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15232
412-692-2852

 

What type of medicine does the provider practice?        

 Surgical oncologist

Would you recommend this provider to others?              

Yes. Dr. Holtzman is very personable. He helped me understand my pathology report and the surgery I was going to have, and took time to answer me and my family’s many questions. I realize that if you need to see a surgical oncologist choices are pretty limited, so I’m mainly writing this to ease your fears around the doctor piece if you find yourself in that situation and are queer/trans.

When was your last visit with the provider          

 0-5 months ago

Why did/do you see this provider?         

 Melanoma

What was/is your experience making an appointment with this provider?           

 Everything was fast. My appointment was 4 days after I called.

Was/is the provider affordable?              

I don’t think any surgical oncologists are affordable, and I don’t know Hillman’s policies for low-income and uninsured folks. However, he did say that he would help me fight a weird anesthesia bill I got if needed.

Please describe your experience with the provider.       

I’m white, transmasculine though only read as male about 75% of the time, mid thirties, have a female partner, slim. He wasn’t weird about me being trans. We didn’t discuss it with that word but we did talk about me being on testosterone. He used male pronouns, and also ordered a pregnancy test (standard before any surgery for folks with a uterus and good care.) Nice to my partner and involved her in conversations.       

 What identities do you have?    

White, transmasculine though only read as male about 75% of the time, mid thirties, have a female partner, slim, middle class, able-bodied.          

What can you share about this provider’s identities and/or the practice’s affiliations that may be important to their clients?               

White, cis, straight male in his forties.

What did you observe or experience about the accessibility of the practice?       

Hillman is very accessible. Valet parking. Gender neutral bathrooms once you’re back where the exam rooms are.

 

Leah Helou//UPMC Mercy Voice Center

5 Apr

Leah Helou
UPMC Mercy Voice Center
UPMC Mercy Hospital Building D, Suite 2100
1400 Locust Street Pittsburgh, PA 15219
Phone: 412-232-3687
Fax: 412-232-8488

 

What type of medicine does the provider practice?        

Voice and Respiratory Therapy 

Would you recommend this provider to others?

Yes              

 When was your last visit with the provider          

0-5 months ago

Why did/do you see this provider?         

Voice and breathing issues stemming from nerve paralysis after thyroidectomy, but also other voice issues 

What was/is your experience making an appointment with this provider?           

I see two other doctors at this place so I usually make the appointments with the front desk or online at the myupmc.com portal

Was/is the provider affordable?              

UPMC type of Medicaid covers unlimited sessions, not sure about other insurances, I assume OOP is expensive but UPMC does have financial aid

Please describe your experience with the provider.       

Leah is very pleasant and knowledgeable. Vocal and respiratory coaching is really intimate and she is good at helping me feel at ease. She also is the founder of the UPMC transgender voice training program so- even though I was not seeking transgender vocal coaching- it was nice to have a provider I was more likely to be safe with as a trans person. She is good at tailoring things to work for you and good at understanding relationships between (what some cultures separate into) mind and body.  

 Please describe your experience with the provider’s support staff (if applicable).            

Front desk at this place is always really nice and helpful towards me.

What identities do you have?    

Transgender, transmasculine, queer, white, (somewhat invisibly) disabled, medium to chubby in size, goth/punk looking, mid 30s, poverty line disability income

Tell us if the provider or practice is especially good with a certain community, has special skills or services.           

trans and queer people

What can you share about this provider’s identities and/or the practice’s affiliations that may be important to their clients?               

I think she is a white cisgender woman but I don’t know anything else about her. She seems to have lefty politics based on who she’s into creating spaces for.

What did you observe or experience about the accessibility of the practice?       

Mercy hospital has a garage that is free for the first 2 hours and paid after that. There are usually handicapped spots open on at least one of the levels (usually more). There is a walkway to the hospital on level D of the garage that I prefer because it is close to elevators. It has automated doors. The Voice center is right across from the purple elevator once you take it up to the 2nd floor. Many doors are automated but the door to the voice center itself is not I do not think. There are two single stall gender neutral restrooms in the waiting room. There is braille on some signage in the hospital. Mercy is about a block up from forbes and 5th where many buses run. There are always wheelchairs near the walkway from the garage and I assume it is ok to grab one and use one when needed. There is also a staff person at a desk when you first come in from the walkway if you have questions.

 

Dr. Paige Forrest/Forrest Psychiatry

20 Feb

Dr. Paige Forrest
Forrest Psychiatry
1102 S. Braddock Ave 
Pittsburgh, PA 15218 
Office: (412) 404-3081

http://forrestpsychiatry.com

 

What type of medicine does the provider practice?        

Psychiatry 

Would you recommend this provider to others?              

 Yes!

When was your last visit with the provider          

 0 – 5 months

Why did/do you see this provider?         

 Multiple episodes of depression

What was/is your experience making an appointment with this provider?           

So easy! She’s very quick to respond and likes to correspond through email. This is convenient for people who hate phone tag. She does everything in her office herself, so you always make appointments directly with her. Once you’re a patient, she has an online portal that shows all her available appointments. You can make requests there and usually get a confirmation in less than 24 hrs.

Was/is the provider affordable?              

Dr. Forrest accepts most major insurance that I know of.

Please describe your experience with the provider.       

She is very warm and easy to talk to. She has great insight, and from my experience with psychiatrists, is very dynamic and integrative in her practice. She seems to really think outside of norms and is very progressive with her treatment. She’s also willing to let you try whatever treatment options you want, within reason, and is very available if you have any questions or need help. She actually wants to get to know you and what you’re experiencing. Though she is not practicing as a therapist, her visits always feel very refreshing and helpful. Also, she herself is LGBTQ and is very open about this.

 Please describe your experience with the provider’s support staff (if applicable).            

 She runs her own practice, so she’s her own support.

What identities do you have?    

Young, white, female, queer, able-bodied, college educated, working cash poor  

Tell us if the provider or practice is especially good with a certain community, has special skills or services.           

Very LGBTQ friendly, and in my experience, would be accommodating of any needs 

What can you share about this provider’s identities and/or the practice’s affiliations that may be important to their clients?               

White, female, LGBTQ

What did you observe or experience about the accessibility of the practice?       

 It’s on the second floor of a building. As far as I know, it’s only accessible by stairs, but knowing her disposition, she may be willing/able to make accommodations.