Archive | Uncategorized RSS feed for this section

Robert G. Kaniecki, MD

15 Jun

Provider name: Robert G. Kaniecki, MD
Practice name: The University of Pittsburgh Headache Center
Address, Pittsburgh, PA zip: The University of Pittsburgh Headache Center, University Center
120 Lytton Ave.,Suite 3, Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Office Phone: (412) 647-9494

What type of medicine does the provider practice?        

 Neurologist specializing in migraine and other headaches

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?         

Chronic Migraines

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

 Called the office and they made one. Originally he was booked until November (8 month wait,) but there was an opening in May they were able to give me. This place is in very high demand so there is a ridiculous wait to get in there.

Was/is the provider affordable?              

 I have Medicare and Medicaid which they take. UPMC has financial aid for the uninsured. I guess the rest depends on your income and insurance because it’s a UPMC facility.

Please describe your experience with the provider.       

 I was very pleased and impressed with this office. The waiting room has very little light and no TV blaring like so many awful rooms do. The low light may be a barrier for some with vision barriers but it is a great asset for most migraine sufferers. Dr Kaniecki himself called me and took me back and did my entire assessment and exam. This was my first appointment and he did everything (very unusual for a doctor to put in that much effort not have nurses do most of the work.)

He listened well and also redirected me when needed (I can go off topic because I have a thousand health problems.) He is very experienced and educated in his field and explained things to me in ways I understood. He spent a long time with me, gave me handouts, let me ask questions. He also was respectful to me in general and if he was thrown by me being a weird looking tattooed trans person wearing a “Black Lives Matter” shirt, he didn’t show it. My PCP referred me and he tends to do a decent job picking trans-friendly doctors most of the time. He was able to ease my mind about some neurological/cognitive/memory problems I have been having (reversible and due to medication.) Because of my intersecting health conditions and medications, my issue is not a simple fix and I do have to accept that there may not be a perfect solution. But, I have faith that if someone walked in and migraine was their only problem, he could probably greatly reduce or even eliminate them in that person. He was understanding about how I had to make tough choices about a medication that may help one condition but worsen migraine and vice versa.

When I left there was someone I am pretty sure was family (as in LGBTQ) who did my check out (I say that both because of how they looked and how they interacted with and “saw” me) so that was nice to see. And parking was free.

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

 The only staff I interacted while there were the front desk woman who was very nice and polite and the person who did my checkout at the end. Before the appointment I received a call asking if I got a new patient packet and if not, to come in early and a separate call the day of to ask me to confirm my appointment. That was odd because I had already confirmed it but it was no big deal. All of the staff I saw were white.

What identities do you have?    

 

White, transmasculine (on low dose T about 5 years, read as male a lot by general hetero public until I start talking or they stare at me long enough, read as female on the phone, cannot bind or have surgeries due to health conditions and also don’t really identify with being a man, so I have complicated relationships with trying to “pass,”) Queer, average to “overweight” size, semi invisibly disabled except for slight limp and sometimes wearing braces, younger than people expect for a disabled person (35 and look younger to some,) fair amount of tattoos, poverty level social security income but have a savings account with SSD back pay that gives me more financial freedom than many people at my income level have.

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

I don’t know about any of this but he DID seem to be serious about believing in fibromyalgia, sensitive nervous systems, and other things than many doctors- especially men- dismiss as hysteria. So, I would say he’s probably more friendly to populations with those kind of diagnoses. Dr Seltman (my PCP, trans specialized) referred me to him so he probably sees some regular queer and trans clients and might have more experience than average though I can’t say for sure.

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

Pretty sure judging by his office and photos, he is a white, cisgender, married (to a woman,) guy with children.

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

As I mentioned before, the waiting room was designed to be more headache friendly- low light, no noise, signs asking people not to use their cellphones (though two people still were.) The garage is right under the place which is very convenient not having to walk far from the car, but it was under construction and is a bit of a mess to get through. There is an elevator from the garage with automatic doors but once you get up to the office the door is not automatic. Parking is 100% validated/free when you leave the office with the ticket they give you. The waiting room is small but I think may be big enough to navigate with wheels if someone gets the door. The staff I made the appointment with did ask if I had any accessibility needs. There are two gendered restrooms down the hall. The men’s room has two stalls but I did not see a changing table. For bus riders, it is about a block away from 5th ave in Oakland where a bunch of buses let off. I forgot to look for braille on the placards. Signs are all in English that I saw.

 

 

 

Advertisements

Dr. April Dunmyer

15 Jun

Provider name: Dr. April Dunmyer
Practice name: Womancare Associates
Address, Pittsburgh, PA zip: 121 Freeport Rd., Suite 120, Blawnox, PA 15238
Phone: (888) 231-4050

What type of medicine does the provider practice?        

OB/GYN

Would you recommend this provider to others?              

 Yes, Dr. Dunmyer has always been accommodating, kind, and communicative.

When was your last visit with the provider          

 0-5 months ago

Why did/do you see this provider?         

Annual

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

They had availability when I needed it.

Was/is the provider affordable?              

I have UPMC insurance

 

Please describe your experience with the provider.       

 Health issues where thoroughly explored and possible care solutions provided… as well as possibilities for follow-up if needed.

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

 Support staff was kind and helpful

What identities do you have?    

 white, able-bodied female, age 41, slim build 

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

 Female-identified, mother

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

 Ramps are present for entry. Easy access from Rt 28N (right off Blawnox exit).

 

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.

 

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. 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.

Larry Moreland/UPMC Arthritis and Autoimmunity Center

20 Dec

Larry Moreland

UMPC Arthritis and Autoimmunity Center

Falk Medical Building

3601 Fifth Ave.

Suite 2B

Pittsburgh, PA 15213

You go in the front and right up the strairs and the office is to the left.

What type of medicine does the provider practice?        

Rheumatology.

Would you recommend this provider to others?              

 Yes. I very much liked the ALL the office staff. It was a great experience.

When was your last visit with the provider          

0-5 months ago.

Why did/do you see this provider?         

I was being scanned for autoimmune diseases.

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

I think Dr. Moreland is hard to get into see, but there are other Doctors in the office. I had to make the 1st appointment two months out, which was fine because I wasn’t in a rush.

Was/is the provider affordable?              

 They made sure that my insurance would cover all costs.

Please describe your experience with the provider.       

 Dr. Moreland was kind. He didn’t say much, or give me much information, but that was okay with me as I had done a lot of research.

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

 All the staff were amazing. They seemed to be happy and supportive of each other and the patients.

What identities do you have?    

 White, cis-gendered, queer, lady, middle class, able bodied, college educated.

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

People in pain and maybe without being able to figure out what is causing it. Dr. Moreland wanted to help me find the best answers he could and affirmed my choices. 

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

White man, that’s all I know. 

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

 There were patients with a variety of accessibility needs that seemed to be attended to. Wheelchair accessible. I am not sure about parking, but there aren’t bike racks out front.

Metro Family Practice/Dr. Katherine Homrok

12 Dec

Katherine A. Homrok, M.D.       

Metro Community Health Center           

 1789 S Braddock Ave #410

 Pittsburgh, PA 15218

mchcpgh.org

412-247-2310

 

What type of medicine does the provider practice?        

Family medicine, geriatric medicine.

Would you recommend this provider to others?              

Yes. My experience with this provider is limited, though.

When did you last see this provider?

0-5 months ago.

Why did you see this provider?

I have seen this provider for two annual wellness check-ups. I also saw them when I was having heart palpitations and needed an EKG test (a test that checks for electrical problems with the heart).

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

  1. Phone – Most times I’ve had to leave a message but I get a prompt call-back. I was especially grateful for how quickly Metro called me back when I was having an issue and they recommended that I be seen right away.
  2. Patient Portal – Metro has a way to schedule online. I tried to make an appointment online once and it was either confusing or the system wasn’t working well. I ended up scheduling for the wrong time and needed to call to change it. I think it would be useful if it worked better.

Was/is the provider affordable?              

Both Highmark and UPMC PPO have paid for my care at Metro. They serve folks who are uninsured and underinsured.

Please describe your experience with the provider.       

In my experience this doctor takes a holistic, collaborative and conversational approach to care. During every visit I have had with her, she has faced me, made eye contact with me, and carried on a real conversation rather than firing questions at me from a computer. One time when I had a question she drew me a diagram on a piece of paper to show me what she was talking about. It helped me understand her answer so much better. It was a small thing, but it meant a lot for her to take the explanation slowly and help me visualize it. I have felt very comfortable and respected with this provider, and I have never felt rushed or like there was a time limit on my visit (I’m sure there was, but it was never made apparent to me).

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

I’ve found nurses and receptionists to be very friendly and helpful. I’ve discussed medical issues with nurses over the phone a few times and got the information and advice I needed. I didn’t feel rushed.

What identities do you have?    

White, cis-female using she/her pronouns, heterosexual, early 30s.

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

They serve folks who are un-insured or under-insured. Metro’s website states they provide expertise in LGBT comprehensive care, HIV care, behavioral health, holistic and integrated care, geriatrics, women’s health, maternity care. This doctor is white and female, the practice is a non-profit, and according to the website some of the doctors are affiliated with Forbes Regional Hospital and UPMC Shadyside.

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

Parking is free and the building is accessible by public transit. The office is a few floors up and there is an elevator.